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5G would be an inflection point for Digital India

The global semiconductor supply chain crisis was an eye-opener for the world. Right from the importance of semiconductor to how it is the critical ingredient of the future digital economy, chip companies are increasingly looking at a geographically diversified and resilient supply chain. The world’s leading fabless company – Qualcomm too has asked its suppliers to diversify and move to different locations, and is open to sourcing chips from India, given its suppliers’ setup fabs in India.

“We have been very active in telling our suppliers about our desire to diversify and their ability to move to different locations. If our suppliers are motivated to build and they have the right incentives to build in India, we’re going to use their fab,” says Cristiano R. Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm.

Qualcomm, like many governments, wants to have a resilient and global, diversified semiconductor supply chain. Amon says it is not about just manufacturing advanced semiconductors alone as there is an entire ecosystem to go around. This includes equipment providers, assembly and tests, as well as the manufacturing of a number of other technologies to go around the semiconductor.

Amon says this is not a problem that one country is going to solve alone, and the industry can move on only with true partnerships. Acknowledging India has an incredible opportunity, he says ”I think, there have been positive discussions between the Indian government and other governments to think about how to participate in this new global semiconductor supply chain. India has an important role to play. And as India looks to find its role in leveraging its talent and knowledge… we will be more than happy to bring our scale (to the country).”

Qualcomm has been in India for a long and is working on advanced and deep design in the country. The company has close to 18,000 employees in India, mostly engineers, of which 3000 were hired over the last twelve months. The US fabless company has also incubated 100 startups in India to date and is also in discussions with Indian automobile companies for its technology solutions. Overall, Qualcomm is also changing from a communications company in the mobile industry into really a connected processor company. BusinessToday

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