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India has lot of opportunities in semiconductor, ESDM space: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar further added that India is essentially investing government capital in creating skills talent, from research and design engineering side to the factory, testing, and packaging workforce side.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 35th edition of VLSID 2022, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship talked about the immense potential and opportunities India has in the semiconductor space.

“It is clear that we have a runway today of opportunities in the ESDM (Electronics System Design and Manufacturing) space, in the embedded design spaces, and of course, the semiconductor space. And our ambitions specifically to the semiconductor space are very clear. Our ambition and our roadmap to silicon space involves obviously the big investment, which is natural given the geopolitics of the world in fabs but as importantly is that is the ecosystem around innovation, design and systems.”

He further added that India is essentially investing government capital in creating skills talent, from research and design engineering side to the factory, testing, and packaging workforce side. On one hand, India is investing capital and encouraging entrepreneurship and startups in the design and innovation ecosystem side, and on the other, the government is sharply focusing on its own design side.

In December 2021, India had laid down a $10 million package to woo global chipmakers to not just set up fabs but also expand the semiconductor ecosystem in the country. The initial response to the scheme has been encouraging with the government receiving five applications for semiconductor and display fabs with total investment to the tune of $20.5 billion (Rs 153,750 crore) in the first round of applications till February 15 2022.

Three companies have submitted proposals for semiconductor fabs and two companies for display fabs. Vedanta in a JV with Foxconn, Singapore headquartered IGSS Ventures Pte and ISMC have submitted proposals for semiconductor fabs. The applications have been received for setting up 28 nm to 65nm semiconductor fabs with capacity of approximately 120,000 wafers per month and the projected investment of $13.6 billion wherein fiscal support from the central government is being sought for nearly $5.6 billion.

Vedanta and Elest have submitted applications for display fabs with projected investment of $6.7 billion seeking fiscal support from the central government for nearly $2.7 billion. Under the scheme for setting up of display fabs in India, applications have been filed for setting up Gen 8.6 TFT LCD Display Fab as well as 6th Generation Display Fab for the manufacturing of state-of-art AMOLED display panels that are used in the advanced smartphones. Four companies, which are SPEL Semiconductor Ltd, HCL, Syrma Technology and Valenkani Electronics, have registered under this scheme for semiconductor packaging; and Ruttonsha International Rectifier Ltd has registered under this scheme for compound semiconductors.

“The $10 million package, I think, in a lot of ways as somebody who’s been in the VLSI space and the tech space for over three decades. I have never felt more confident about this moment in India. I have tried in the past, and many people have tried in the past to expand the Indian innovation ecosystem, but I think it is a coming together of various factors including the leadership and the vision of our prime minister that has brought India to this inflection point, an opportunity to grow and expand beyond its traditional technology capabilities,” Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar added.

“India represents a tremendous market for the application and use of technology. It represents a country where there’s a tremendous depth and pool of innovation, ecosystem entrepreneurs, and energy, and we also have the third part of it, which is government policies and government capital,” he said. The minister hopes that India will be able to catalyse these two elements and create a sustainable ecosystem that will serve the world, its demands and India’s needs in the coming years and decades. PTI

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