India will start constructing its first semiconductor assembly plant next month, aiming to produce the country’s first homemade microchips by late 2024, as revealed by Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.
What Happened? Per a Financial Times report, U.S. semiconductor company Micron Technology will spearhead the $2.75 billion (₹22,568 crore) project in Gujarat, supported by the Indian government.
Vaishnaw explained that the India Semiconductor Mission, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, is rallying support from various partners across the supply chain, including chemical, gas, and manufacturing equipment suppliers, and companies keen on setting up silicon wafer fabrication plants.
The minister characterized the move as a new industry for India, with an aggressive 18-month target to get the factory up and running by December 2024.
Chips in the bag: India recently reissued requests for its $10 billion (₹82,065 crore) subsidy program for chipmakers, altering the specifics to seek larger, less expensive chips after the first three applicants, including a consortium of Vedanta and Foxconn, failed to meet the government’s criteria. Vaishnaw disclosed ongoing discussions with over a dozen interested applicants.
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Despite critics suggesting India focus on its already established expertise in chip design rather than reproducing a highly demanding industry, Vaishnaw remains determined, pointing out India’s strong base of semiconductor designers.
The minister also mentioned expanded collaborations with the U.S., including a substantial investment from chip equipment maker Applied Materials in a new engineering center in Bengaluru.
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