Systems on a Chip or SoC can be referred to as one of the protagonists for wireless communications’ technological evolution. For the past few decades, semiconductors have been playing a key role in the advancement of emerging technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 5G, robotics and what not.
Chips for AI acceleration have tremendous implications for applying AI and machine learning techniques to domains under significant constraints such as size, power and more both in embedded applications as well as in data centres.
Recently, the government of India released an Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting companies and consortia, who are desirous of setting up or expanding existing Semiconductor wafer as well as device fabrication facilities in India or acquisition of Semiconductor fabrication facilities outside the country.
With all these advancements, the electronic manufacturing industry in India has been steadily gearing up its value chain from the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) to Completely Knocked Down (CKD) stage of manufacturing.
However, currently, the country has been facing a lack of semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem as well as efficient electronic components, which can help the advancements to move at a fast pace compared to other developed countries.
This is the reason why the government of India is keen to incentivise as well as attract investment in establishing Semiconductor FABs in India. India is endeavouring to increase its share in the global manufacturing of mobile phones, IoT, automotive electronics, industrial electronics, medical electronics and other such devices in the coming years as it aspires to have USD 400 billion of electronics manufacturing by the year 2025.
In a LinkedIn post, Saurabh Gaur, Joint Secretary at IAS stated, “This effort of getting a semiconductor fab is building on the success of #PLI Scheme for Mobile Manufacturing which has companies committing to manufacture a billion mobile phones in India in next five years while bringing enhanced value addition in the country.”
He added, “#PLI Schemes for IT hardware (aiming at the manufacturing of 50mn laptops/notebooks and tablets); telecom equipment and wearables, TWS & IoT devices are in the offing. India will be manufacturing 5 billion IoT devices for its I4.0, Smart Cities, 5G Network.”
The Expression of Interest (EoI)
According to reports, the India Cellular and Electronics Association stated that the growth of semiconductor sector in India has been witnessing a rise and the country can gain a sizable share of the global market by becoming the hub for laptops and tablets. This will provide a manufacturing value of $100 billion by 2025 and will also create five lakh additional jobs.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued EoI on 15th December 2020 for expanding existing semiconductor wafer/device fabrication (FAB) facilities in India or making an acquisition of semiconductor FABs abroad. Alongside, the information received in response to this EoI will be utilised to develop a scheme for setting up or expanding existing semiconductor wafers as well as device fabrication (FAB) facilities in India or abroad.
In the EoI, MeiTY has set three key categories as the eligibility criteria for the interested participants. They are-
Also, MeiTY has asked that the EoI proposal should be submitted in the form of a Preliminary Project Report (PPR) detailing out the category, proposed location, land, water and power requirements. The last date for submission of EoI proposal is 31st January 2021.
This year, we have witnessed a number of initiatives in the semiconductor industry. For instance, the Tata Group joined hands with Apple and is investing ₹5,000 crores in setting up a phone component manufacturing business in Tamil Nadu, Intel India has also collaborated with the government of Telangana to launch an applied AI research centre in Hyderabad, and more.
In an interview with Balajee Sowrirajan, the Corporate Vice President at Samsung Semiconductor India R&D Center (SSIR), Sowrirajan mentioned that the next big trend is going to be around creating a connected and intelligent world. This will be defined by four key pillars, which are connectivity, sensor, data and artificial intelligence.
Semiconductors being the next wave, there has been an upsurge in using semiconductors in the automotive sector and AI as well as the adoption of cloud computing around the globe. The government of India is expediting its efforts in every way possible in order to advance its domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry.