India’s Semiconductor Sector: Tracking Government Support and Investment Trends
India is seeking foreign investments for its indigenous semiconductor industry for the development and design of fabs, ATMP, among others. We look at the latest developments impacting India’s semiconductor ambitions.
- Two Karnataka-based semiconductor firms, Saankhya Labs, a subsidiary of Tejas Network, and Sensesemi Technologies are latest beneficiaries approved under the Design-Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) at the Digital India FutureLABS Summit 2024.
Saankhya Labs is a wireless communication and semiconductor solutions company specializing in designing products and solutions tailored for broadband, satellite, and broadcast applications, covering areas such as 5G NR, Direct to Mobile (D2M) Broadcast, rural broadband connectivity, satellite communication modems for IoT applications, and multi-standard DTV modulators and demodulators.
Sensesemi will develop the Systems on Chip (SoC) for Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and IoT devices, integrating MCU and wireless IP with an ultra-low power analog front end featuring AI inferencing IP. The goal is to advance India’s semiconductor capabilities by delivering connected SoC solutions for applications like smart wearables, the medical technology sector, and other connected devices.
- Murugappa Group’s CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd. (CG Power) has formed a joint venture with Renesas Electronics America Inc. (Renesas) and Stars Microelectronics (Thailand) Public Co. Ltd. (Stars) to establish an outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT) facility in India. CG has also inked agreements with Renesas Electronics Corporation, Japan, and Stars for technology, services, offtake, manufacturing, technology know-how sharing, and technical support. The JV formation awaits necessary approvals from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and subsidies from central and state governments. The investment breakdown includes US$205 million from CG, US$15 million from Renesas, and US$2 million from Stars, with the total equity capital representing 92.34 percent, 6.76 percent, and 0.90 percent, respectively. In November, CG had disclosed plans to invest approximately US$791 million over five years for the OSAT venture.
- Israeli chipmaker Tower Semiconductor is on the verge of securing an US$8 billion fabrication plant in India, reports the Indian Express. Tower Semi will need to indicate an investment partner according to experts, per the Scheme norms. Should the proposal gain governmental approval, it would mark the first instance of a top-10 global semiconductor company bringing genuine fabrication expertise to participate in India’s US$10 billion chip manufacturing initiative. The government is currently evaluating Tower’s proposal and aims to approve it before the implementation of the model code of conduct preceding this year’s general elections. A previous application under the scheme fell through as Intel Corp had been in the process of acquiring the Israeli firm, which ultimately did not materialize as it did not secure regulatory approval from China.
Webinar – India’s Manufacturing Landscape in 2024: Key Sectors, Challenges, Competitiveness, and Schemes
India Session: March 13, 2024
10:00 AM Brussels / 2:30 PM India Time / 4:00 PM Vietnam Time / 5:00 PM China Time
North America Session: March 14, 2024
9 AM Los Angeles / 12 PM New York / 6 PM Brussels
Join us as Koushan Das, Manager – Business Intelligence, shares insights on India’s manufacturing landscape in 2024 and highlights the importance of emerging sectors, competitiveness in Asia, the importance of MSMEs, and key industrial hubs in the country.
This webinar is FREE of charge.
- According to sources familiar with the matter, the government has received nine bids for the overhaul of its Semiconductor Laboratory (SCL) in Mohali, with companies such as the Tata Group, Tower Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments among the bidders.
US$1 billion has been earmarked by the government for the modernization of the 48-year old state-owned facility, which is India’s only chip manufacturing unit producing semiconductors for strategic and defense purposes, including applications for space exploration such as the Chandrayaan mission.
Once the government decides on the specific nodes for manufacturing, financial bids will be solicited from the interested companies. The selected firm may need to collaborate with a technology firm possessing licensing grade semiconductor technology.
The Tata Group is planning to set up a fab unit in Dholera; Tower intends to get into 65 and 40 nanometer fab production in India and had previously helped SCL set up its 180 nm chip plant; and Texas Instruments has significant chip R&D operations in India.
- HCL, the Indian IT sector conglomerate, is pursuing a joint venture (JV) with Taiwanese electronics manufacturing services giant Foxconn to set up a semiconductor Outsourced Assembly and Testing (OSAT) unit in India; Foxconn will have 40 percent equity for US$37.2 million. Specific information about the nature of the OSAT facility is as yet undisclosed. While HCL started out as a hardware company, its current focus lies predominantly in providing design services within the semiconductor domain. The strategic shift under the JV with Foxconn is expected to move the company higher up the value chain, per industry experts.
On January 18, India’s cabinet approved an initial pact signed between India and the European Union to boost cooperation in the semiconductor space. The MoU between India and the European Commission on Working Arrangements on semiconductor ecosystems, its supply chain, and innovation had been signed November 21, last year, under the framework of EU-India Trade and Technology Council (TTC).
- Micron Technology President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra has stated that Phase 1 of the company’s plant at Sanand, Gujarat, will become operational by early 2025. It will include 500,000 square feet of plant clean room space. He made the comments during the 2024 Vibrant Gujarat Summit. The “clean room” is typically expected to host the ATMP operation as it requires a near-zero dust and vibration environment. Micron Technology has already hired 200 people for the Sanand Plant, who are currently receiving training at facilities in Mohali and Malaysia. Upon completion of both phases, Micron expects to create 5,000 jobs in the state. Phase 2 is slated for the second half of the ongoing decade.
- Also at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Jeffery Chun, the Global CEO of South Korea’s Simmtech, known for producing high-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs) for semiconductors, announced plans to make another colocation investment with Micron. Chun expressed readiness to invest in Gujarat, citing support from both Central and state governments, with the potential to generate thousands of jobs. More details are awaited.
- At the 2024 Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which is being held between January 10-12 in the state capital of Gandhinagar, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran announced plans for the conglomerate to set up a large semiconductor fabrication plant in Dholera, Gujarat. Chandrasekaran said that the project is reportedly in its final stages of negotiations and operations would commence within the year.
- A report in the Economic Times says Israel’s chipmaker Tower Semiconductors has resubmitted a proposal to set up a semiconductor fabrication unit for 65 nm and 40 nm chips in India. However, the company is also facing legal action from its previous JV partner, Abu Dhabi-based Next Orbit Ventures, for submitting a fresh proposal with a new partner. There is speculation in the industry that Tower Semiconductors’ new partner in the latest proposal could be the BC Jindal group, a major manufacturer of packaging and labelling products.
- The Taiwanese electronics manufacturing services giant, Foxconn, recently submitted an application to establish a semiconductor fabrication unit in India recently submitted an application to establish a semiconductor fabrication unit in India under the “modified scheme for setting up of semiconductor fabs in India”, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT. Foxconn previously exited from a joint venture with the Vedanta Group, which had plans to set up a chip plant in Gujarat with an investment of around INR 1.5 trillion.
- India and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 24 concerning semiconductors, aiming to foster a resilient supply chain and promote innovation. The agreement was formalized during a stock-taking call among the leaders of the EU-India Trade and Technology Council (TTC). Key points in the MoU include sharing experiences and information on semiconductors ecosystems, identifying areas for joint research and innovation, promoting skills development and workforce collaboration, and ensuring a fair competitive environment by exchanging information on publicly granted subsidies.
- HCL is holding active discussions with the Karnataka state government to set up an OSAT facility (chip packagng unit), per an Economic Times report. The company is planning to make an investment of about US$400 million to set up a “small-to-medium sized” facility. The government has offered land parcels near the Bengaluru international airport and Mysuru. State officials have indicated the comparative favorability of Mysuru due to its access to water resources. At this stage it appears the government will be open to more sops if the firm seeks tweaks to the incentives package. The HCL Group’s IT services arm, HCLTech, acquired Sankalp Semiconductor in 2019. Sankalp Semiconductor is based in Palo Alto, California and Hubli, India with offices in USA, India, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Japan. It is a preferred semiconductor design service partner of top chip manufacturers, design foundries, and OEMs across the globe like TSMC.
- As of the end of October 2023, the government has received a total of 45 applications under its INR 760 billion semiconductor and display manufacturing scheme. These applications cover five requests for the establishment of semiconductor fabs, two for display fabs, nine for the setup of compound and ATMP facilities, and 29 for the design-linked incentive scheme.
- Speaking on the sidelines of the AMD campus launch, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, told media that India expected three new semiconductor fabrication units in the coming months, with a combined investment ranging from US$8 to US$12 billion, inclusive of government incentives. Discussions are currently underway with the governments of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh on suitable locations. Vaishnaw also hinted at the possibility of two proposals emerging in the near future for the fabrication and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test sectors.
- American multinational semiconductor company AMD inaugurated its largest global design center, the Technostar research and development campus, on November 28, in Bengaluru, as part of a US$400 million investment over the next five years in India. The investment had previously been announced at the Semicon India 2023. Spanning 500,000 square feet, the Technostar campus will house around 3,000 engineers and focus on the development of CPUs, GPUs, adaptive SoCs, and FPGAs for personal computers and data centers. The facility features a state-of-the-art research and development lab, a visitor demo center, and collaborative huddle spaces. Jaya Jagadish, India Country Head for AMD said in a company press release, “The India Design Centre started with a handful of employees in 2004. Today, 25% of AMD’s global workforce is located in India and they support the development of AMD leadership products for data center, gaming, PC and embedded customers. This new facility marks the next milestone in our growth journey to be a significant contributor in the advancement of semiconductors.”
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release on November 24 that an MoU had been reached between India and the EU on semiconductors, ahead of the virtual India – EU Trade and Technology Council meeting. The press released explained: “The MoU, aims at increasing resilience of semi-conductors value chain in India and EU and covers cooperation in wide areas covering research and innovation, talent development, partnerships and exchange of market information.” The next India-EU TTC meeting is expected to be scheduled for “early next year” at a mutually convenient date as will be the India-EU Summit.
- In a filing with stock exchanges, CG Power and Industrial Solutions, a part of the Murugappa Group, stated that it has formally applied to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to establish an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) facility. The proposed investment for this venture amounts to US$791 million (INR 65.92 billion), to be spread over a five-year period. The facility’s primary function will involve the packaging and transportation of chips produced by third-party manufacturers. Only companies that receive government approval for their applications are eligible to receive a 50 percent subsidy from the government on the project cost. The respective state governments, where these projects are established, have the flexibility to supplement this subsidy with an additional amount of their choosing.
- Business Today are reporting that Larsen & Toubro plan to set up a subsidiary in the domain of fabless semiconductor chip design, at an investment of INR 8.3 billion. L&T are currently focused on the low-investment component of the chip supply chain. As this sector is investment heavy and market changes can result in long lead times, the move is considered more practical.
- Qualcomm Inc told media that the technology giant will outsource manufacture of semiconductor chips to India when the country has set up its own fab plants and OSAT facilities. Qualcomm sees growth opportunities in the Indian market for mass-market 5G phones, in the EV automotive software industry [Tech Mahindra and TCS being key IT innovators in this domain], for implementation of WiFi-6 and WiFi-7 technologies, and wireless fixed broadband solutions [collaborating with HFCL and VVDN].
- Homegrown electronics contract manufacturing services company Kaynes Technology has entered the OSAT/ATMP services domain via subsidiary Kaynes Semicon. The company is set to invest INR 28 billion to start a semiconductor OSAT and compound semiconductor facility at Kongara Kalan (near Telangana capital Hyderabad), near Foxconn’s upcoming facility. It is estimated to create 2000 jobs. In the initial three years, Kaynes Semicon will assist global customers with various package types, including QFN (Quad Flat No-leads Package), SOT (Small Outline Transistor), TO (Transistor Outline), BGA (Ball Grid Array), and FC BGA (Flip-Chip Ball Grid Array) for power devices, as mentioned by a government official. The company is also in the process of establishing an R&D center for package research in collaboration with IIT Bombay.
- The Tata Group are reportedly drafting a proposal to tap into the government’s semiconductor subsidy scheme, which they could submit in the next 3-6 months. Tata are also exploring overseas technology partnerships. The conglomerate last year announced its intentions to partner with chip makers and potentially launch an upstream fab unit, but did not apply to the initial round of proposals for the INR 760 billion-subsidy scheme.
- India’s union cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan on the Japan-India Semiconductor Supply Chain Partnership – signed July 2023. The MoC is for a term of five years from the date of signature by the two countries. Per the government’s press release on October 25, building upon ongoing initiatives such as the India-Japan Digital Partnership (IJDP) and India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP), the MoC will expand and enhance collaboration within the realm of the electronics ecosystem.
- TATA Projects has secured the contract to construct Micron Technology’s advanced semiconductor assembly and testing facility in Sanand, Gujarat. As per the company’s statement, the Sanand Factory will be meticulously planned to adhere to the Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Standards, incorporating cutting-edge water-saving technologies that will facilitate a Zero Liquid Discharge system. This underscores Tata Projects’ dedication to sustainable construction practices.
- Micron Technology will establish its ATMP (Assembly, Test, and Packaging) plant spanning 1.4 million square feet in Sanand in two phases. The initial phase of this facility is scheduled to commence the production of packaged chips by December 2024. The second phase is planned for the latter half of the decade.
- Simmtech, the leading supplier to Micron Technology, Inc., a US-based chipmaker specializing in substrates, has obtained the green light to establish a facility in Sanand, Gujarat, in proximity to Micron’s own manufacturing site, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Telecom, IT and Railways, told Mint.
- The government is planning for a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) cluster as part of the India AI program to support the growth of startups focused on training artificial intelligence models within India, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told industry stakeholders on September 22. The government intends to provide support to both domestic startups and foreign companies that are interested in fostering indigenous intellectual property related to chip design for AI applications. This support will be extended through the INR 11-12 billion (US$132.61 million-US$144.67 million) design-linked incentive scheme.
- An industry stakeholder predicts that the semiconductor industry in India will generate a demand for 1.2 million jobs encompassing a wide range of roles, including engineers, operators, technicians, and more. This demand is expected to grow as manufacturing advances and design functions evolve.
- Micron Technology is set to commence construction on its semiconductor testing and assembly facility in Sanand, Gujarat, on Saturday, September 23. This development comes just three months after the US chipmaker first announced its plans to establish the plant at a total proposed investment of US$2.75 billion. Of this, Micron has committed to US$825 million and the Indian government will provide the remaining in subsidies.
- Rajasthan-based Sahasra Semiconductor, which is part of India’s Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), has stated that it will begin the commercial production of the first made-in-India memory chips at its Bhiwadi plant from September or early October 2023. This is per its CEO Varun Manwani as reported in the Financial Express. The company intends to package basic memory products like MicroSD cards and chip-on-board, to be followed by advanced packaging of products like internal memory chips. Sahasra gets a 25 percent financial incentive on capital expenditure under SPECS. Sahasra is an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company, meaning it assembles and packages chips for other brands.
- Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a major US semiconductor chip design company, has plans to invest up to US$400 million in India over the next five years, per its Chief Technology Office Mark Papermaster. AMD aims to establish its largest design facility in Bengaluru, expanding its office presence to 10 locations in the country. With already over 6,500 employees in India, the new campus is expected to create around 3,000 additional engineering roles by the end of 2028. AMD is globally recognized for its leading semiconductor chip designs and stands as a chief competitor to Intel. While it doesn’t manufacture chips itself, the company outsources this process to contract manufacturers such as TSMC.
AMD’s India investment plans is not tied to government incentives according to Papermaster.
- Following Micron’s announcement regarding the establishment of a packaging and testing unit in India, reliable industry sources speaking to BusinessLine indicate that at least 4 to 5 leading suppliers of components and materials to the semiconductor sector are also poised to take a similar course of action. Prominent industry suppliers, such as Simmtech and Air Liquide, which specialize in providing printed circuit boards and high-purity industrial gases for chip manufacturing, are currently engaged in discussions with the Indian government to initiate their operations in India. As per a source speaking to the media, it appears that Simmtech, a Micron supply chain partner, has likely obtained government approval for its venture. The company is reportedly planning to establish its unit in the industrial town of Sanand, following the footsteps of Micron in this regard.
- The Indian Express is reporting that a 6-day event (July 25-30), called Semicon India 2023, focused on semiconductors, will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. PM Modi is expected to inaugurate the main event on July 28. Per a government press release: “Companies such as Foxconn, Micron, AMD, IBM, Marvell, Vedanta, LAM Research, NXP Semiconductors, ST Microelectronics, Grantwood Technologies, Infineon Technologies, Applied Materials, and other prominent players in the sector will actively participate in this momentous event.”
Semicon India 2023 will witness representation from twenty-three countries, along with Indian states, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Notable academic institutions such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT Madras, BITS Pilani, Ganpat University, and Nirma University will also be present, highlighting their role in driving India’s semiconductor advancements, per reporting in the Hindustan Times.
- The central government has granted approval for the modernization of the Semiconductor Laboratory (SCL, Mohali), intending to transform it into a brownfield chip manufacturing unit: Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a written reply to the Parliament Upper House on July 21, 2203.
- The Odisha Cabinet gave its approval on July 21 for the proposed Odisha Semiconductor Manufacturing & Fabless Policy. The proposed policy aims to attract investors and facilitate their entry into the manufacturing of semiconductor/electronic chips in the eastern state of Odisha. With the implementation of this policy, the state is optimistic about establishing at least one semiconductor manufacturing unit and attracting 100 fabless design companies to set up operations in Odisha. Under Odisha’s semiconductor policy, attractive incentives of 25% will be provided for Silicon, Compound, Display & Advanced Technology Manufacturing Plants (ATMP), in addition to the Government of India’s 50% incentive. Fabless product/IP companies will also benefit from a substantial 20% incentive. Moreover, the state of Odisha will extend support to 25 undergraduate and 25 postgraduate institutes, aiding them in research and development initiatives as well as capacity building.
- Japan’s semiconductor manufacturer, Rapidus Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, will be an important part of the India-Japan MoU, Vaishnaw said. Rapidus Corporation was formed in August 2022 with the support of eight major Japanese companies: Denso, Kioxia, MUFG Bank, NEC, NTT, SoftBank, Sony, and Toyota.
- On July 20, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that India and Japan have formally agreed to establish a joint mechanism aimed at facilitating collaboration between their respective governments and industries in the field of semiconductors. This move, as reported by MoneyControl, comes as both nations recognize the strategic importance of semiconductor technology. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Japan covers five key areas of cooperation, which include semiconductor design, manufacturing, equipment research, talent development, and enhancing the resilience of the semiconductor supply chain.
As part of the agreement, the two countries will establish an implementation organization responsible for facilitating collaboration between the government agencies and industries of both nations. This organization will work on fostering partnerships on both government-to-government and industry-to-industry levels, fostering innovation and technology exchange to bolster the semiconductor sector in both countries. The implementation organization will clear up any confusion among Japanese stakeholders about the India Semiconductor Mission.
- The Economic Times reported on July 19 that the Shiv Nadar-led HCL Group is considering a foray into the semiconductor sector. ET reported that the HCL Group is on the verge of presenting a proposal to the Centre for the establishment of an assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) unit for semiconductors at an estimated project cost between US$200-300 million. The HCL Group as a maker of computer hardware and peripherals before venturing into the software segment.
- Foxconn is now reportedly engaged in discussions with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and Japan’s TMH Group to form new partnerships in order to establish semiconductor fabrication units in India. Both Foxconn and TSMC are headquartered in Taiwan. The Economic Times , July 14, stated that Foxconn is expected to reach an agreement soon regarding the specifics of the partnership, with a focus on producing advanced as well as legacy node chips. TSMC, a prominent player in the semiconductor industry, stands as one of the largest chip foundries globally. Meanwhile, TMH Group specializes in providing semiconductor-related solutions and offers services in the operation and maintenance of manufacturing equipment.
- Foxconn has reportedly communicated to the Indian government that it hopes to establish four to five semiconductor fabrication lines in India. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer is expected to submit their final application within the next two months. Foxconn also reportedly told MeitY that it has reached two MoUs with technology partners; once it fulfills the government’s requirements, the announcement will be made.
- On Monday, it was reported that Foxconn has pulled out of its joint venture with Vedanta. In a statement, the Taiwanese firm said, “Foxconn has determined it will not move forward on the joint venture with Vedanta. Foxconn is working to remove the Foxconn name from what now is a fully-owned entity of Vedanta”.
Meanwhile, Vedanta also issued a statement saying, “Vedanta reiterates that it is fully committed to its semiconductor fab project and we have lined up other partners to set up India’s first foundry. We will continue to grow our Semiconductor team, and we have the license for production-grade technology for 40 nm from a prominent Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM)”.
- Vedanta Group has acquired complete control of the joint venture established last year with Foxconn for semiconductor manufacturing in India. The joint venture, named Vedanta Foxconn Semiconductors Private Limited, was previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of Twin Star Technologies Limited, an entity within the Vedanta Group. In addition, Vedanta announced its intention to acquire a display glass manufacturing venture from Volcan Investments, the holding company of Vedanta. As part of the agreement reached last year, Volcan Investments and Foxconn had committed to investing US$19.5 billion in establishing semiconductor and display production facilities in Gujarat, in alignment with India’s ambitions to emerge as a significant player in the electronics industry. According to David Reed, CEO of Vedanta’s Semiconductor Business, “Made in India semiconductors and display glass will facilitate affordable electronics – smartphones, laptops, televisions, and electric vehicles for all Indians.”
- C-DAC has approved five applicants to the Design-Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme, which is a part of the INR 760 billion-budget Program for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India. The DLI Scheme aims to offer financial incentives as well as design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design(s) for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design(s) over a period of 5 years.
- Officials announced on Saturday that a UK-based company is preparing to establish a semiconductor fabrication facility in the Ganjam district of Odisha. The news agency PTI reported that an initial investment of INR 300 billion will be allocated for the first phase of the project. The Indian division of SRAM & MRAM Group, known as SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Projects India Pvt Limited, previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government on March 26 to establish the semiconductor unit. The company has set a target to establish the semiconductor unit within a span of two years, with the aim of creating job opportunities for 5,000 individuals. Furthermore, they have devised plans for future expansion of the facility, intending to invest approximately INR 2 trillion by 2027. The primary focus of the semiconductor unit will be the production of memory chips, which are widely used in mobile phones, television sets, laptops, air conditioners, and ATMs. Earlier, on June 11, it was reported that Nitin Gupta was appointed as Technical Director for the SRAM & MRAM Group’s Odisha semiconductor project. More information is awaited.
- On June 28, Micron Technology, Inc entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government in India. The agreement entails the establishment of a semiconductor unit worth INR 225 billion (US$2.74 billion) at Sanand, near Ahmedabad. Spanning across 93 acres in the Sanand GIDC-II industrial estate, the Assembly, Test, Marking, and Packaging (ATMP) facility aims to generate 5,000 direct job opportunities and is expected to be operational within 18 months. The facility’s primary focus will be the conversion of wafers into Ball Grid Array (BGA)-integrated circuit packages, memory modules, and solid-state drives. (US$1=INR 82.06).
- In a statement, Vedanta Foxconn Semiconductors Limited (VFSL) announced that it has submitted a revised application to the central government, seeking incentives in accordance with the updated guidelines of the India Semiconductor Mission. Previously, VFSL had applied for incentives for manufacturing 28 nm chips. However, it has now modified its application to focus on producing 40 nm chips and receiving incentives in that specific category, according to a source. In May of this year, the IT ministry revised the guidelines for incentive applications, allowing applicants to apply once they possess production-grade technology or have formed partnerships with companies possessing such technology. VFSL is a joint venture between India’s Vedanta Group and Taiwan’s Foxconn group with a ratio of 67-33.
- Foxconn is reportedly approaching prominent Indian business houses to forge partnerships and advance its semiconductor manufacturing goals in India, according to sources cited by The Economic Times (June 27, 2023). Sources indicate that the year-old joint venture between Foxconn and the Vedanta Group may be encountering difficulties due to disagreements between the two partners. A senior Indian government official informed ET that the government has advised Foxconn to consider collaborating with a different partner. The concerns primarily revolve around the financial stability of the Vedanta Group.
- Per reporting in The Economic Times: Micron Technology will contribute US$825 million out of the total US$2.75 billion investment, while the remaining funds will come from the central government (50 percent) and the Gujarat state government (20 percent). The OSAT plant is planned to be established in Sanand, Gujarat, and is projected to commence operations in 2024. Although Micron is one of the leading makers of memory chips, such as DRAM, flash memory, and USB drives, it does not engage in actual chip manufacturing. According to Research and Markets, memory products contribute significantly to the semiconductor industry’s revenue, accounting for 35 percent of total chip sales. Micron intends to utilize the facility in India to cater to local demand and export to South Asian markets.
India’s smartphone market is currently valued at US$30 billion and assembles 150 million phones daily. Apple has expressed its intentions to expand its sourcing efforts in India, while Google Pixel is reportedly considering shifting a portion of its device production to the country. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) anticipates that the electronics manufacturing sector in India will reach a value of US$300 billion by 2026. It is important to note that India heavily relies on chip imports for these electronic devices, and the projected import bill for chips alone is expected to reach approximately US$64 billion by 2026.
- On June 22, Micron Technology, an American semiconductor manufacturer, revealed its plans to allocate a maximum of US$825 million for establishing a fresh chip assembly and testing facility in India. Micron stated that with backing from the Centre and the Gujarat government, the total investment in the factory will amount to US$2.75 billion. According to a media release on the company website: “Micron’s new facility will enable assembly and test manufacturing for both DRAM and NAND products and address demand from domestic and international markets. Phased construction of the new assembly and test facility in Gujarat is expected to begin in 2023. Phase 1, which will include 500,000 square feet of planned cleanroom space, will start to become operational in late 2024, and Micron will ramp capacity gradually over time in line with global demand trends. Micron expects Phase 2 of the project, which would include construction of a facility similar in scale to Phase 1, to start towards the second half of the decade.”
- PM Modi also met with Gary E. Dickerson, CEO, Applied Materials and invited the firm for the development of process technology and advanced packaging capabilities in India. Modi and Dickerson discussed potential of Applied Materials’ collaboration with academic institutions in India to create skilled workforce.
- “[Prime Minister Modi has] invited Micron Technology to boost semiconductor manufacturing in India,” according to an official statement issued by the external affairs ministry. Modi met with Mr. Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron on June 21, 2023 in Washington DC during his official visit to the country.
- Reuters has reported June 20 that the Indian cabinet has given its approval to Micron’s US$2.7 billion investment plan to set up a semiconductor ATMP unit in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government’s approval came in just ahead of Modi’s first official state visit to the US.
- According to sources speaking to The Economic Times, Micron’s investment is intended for the establishment of an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) unit, which will consist of a minimum of four assembly lines. This development will represent a significant milestone as it marks the central government’s first approval of an OSAT unit, also known as an assembly testing marking and packaging (ATMP) unit.
- According to Bloomberg’s sources, Micron Technology is currently engaged in talks to set up a semiconductor packaging facility in India, with an estimated value of at least US$1 billion. This strategic move aims to expand the company’s international presence amid increasing trade tensions between the United States and China.
It is speculated that Micron Technology might even invest up to US$2 billion in this project, and there are suggestions within the industry that an official announcement could be made during Prime Minister Modi’s official visit to the United States – June 20-24.
- The progress of a proposed $3 billion semiconductor facility in India, led by chip consortium ISMC and involving Israeli chipmaker Tower as a technology partner, has been halted due to the ongoing acquisition of Tower by Intel.
Further, in the Vedanta-Foxconn JV, it appears that technology partner STMicroelectronics is reluctant to meet the Indian government’s requirements for it to have a stake in the JV partnership. According to reporting in the Economic Times, STMicro want India to become a more mature market before having more ‘skin in the game’ as it were.
- The Modified Semicon India Programme will receive applications from June 1, 2023. The window for applicants is kept open till December 2024.
- India is now reportedly encouraging investment proposals for mature nodes of over 40nm – previous and fresh applicants to the India Semiconductor Mission scheme can apply again for incentives from June 1, 2023.
- Reports in the media indicate that Vedanta-Foxconn will likely not get incentives [worth potentially billions of dollars] to make 28-nanometer chips as they have not met the criteria set by the Indian government.
- Mike Young, a seasoned industry professional with 34 years of experience, has been selected by Vedanta to serve as the Senior Vice President in charge of the Project Management Office and Manufacturing Operations. Young brings a wealth of expertise, having previously held prominent positions such as CEO of Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) in Singapore and CEO of X-FAB Sarawak in Malaysia. In his new capacity, Young will assume responsibility for supervising the implementation of manufacturing and operational procedures as Vedanta prepares to establish its inaugural semiconductor fab in India.
- Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, May 10, that India intends to reopen the application process for $10 billion worth of incentives and assistance aimed at promoting chip manufacturing. The decision to revisit the application process stems from the observation that previously announced projects have been experiencing significant delays. More details are awaited.
- A Counterpoint Research and the India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA) report projects India’s semiconductor market to value about $64 billion by 2026, showing three-times growth from US$22.7 billion in 2019. Two-thirds of this market value will be created by the country’s telecom stack and industrial applications. Reporting in Outlook puts India’s semiconductor market on course to be worth US$80.3 billion by 2028.
- The government is expected to greenlight the Vedanta-Foxconn (VSFL) bid, however, certain guarantees and information needs to be provided. VSFL have signed pacts with two companies for technology transfer, GlobalFoundries from the US and European chipmaker STMicroelectronics. The Indian government is reportedly seeking details of the technology transfer – with either of the two companies. India would also prefer if GlobalFoundries and STMicro were to buy stakes in the VSFL joint venture.
- The central government will invest US$1.2 billion to modernize the 30-year old facility at the Semiconductor Laboratory (SCL) in Mohali (Punjab state) to achieve volume production and create profitable assets. The facility currently has the capability to produce 8-inch CMOS microchip wafers used mostly in the country’s strategic areas like the space program (Mangalyaan and the Mars Orbiter Mission). The government’s investment is part of the India Semiconductor Mission’s goal to modernize and commercialize the facility, although a timeline has not been provided by the government.
- The government has earmarked INR 11-12 billion (approx. US$133.83 million-US$146 million) to support the country’s semiconductor design startups. The Semiconductor Design-Linked incentive scheme has so far onboarded 27 start-ups, per the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- The Indian government is close to approving a US$1 billion investment proposal by Micron Technology to set up an ATMP facility in the country. Based in Idaho, USA, Micron Technology is the world’s fifth largest semiconductor company. The firm has 11 manufacturing sites across US, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and China.
- The Vedanta-Foxconn JV have secured a technology partner who will provide them with access to high-volume manufacturing-grade technology. This is a prerequisite for project approval and semiconductor incentives. Details have not been made available but the government is currently looking at the documentation. Speaking to the media, semiconductor veteran David Reed and new CEO of Vedanta-Foxconn Semiconductors Limited said: “We do have now access to a manufacturable grade, high volume technology. We have access to all the documentation and design IP, and it can support industrial and especially automotive. We can’t go into details – who it is. But we’ve already started the transfer process.”
- India will announce the first semiconductor fab in a few weeks’ time – Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told media on March 14. A Deloitte report estimates the Indian semiconductor market to reach US$55 billion by 2026, with over 60 percent of the market driven by the smartphones and wearables, automotive components, and computing and data storage industries. Vaishnaw has said that India’s smartphone exports will touch US$9.5 -10 billion in 2023.
- In January this year, the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) decided to form a private sector task force to strengthen bilateral collaboration in the global semiconductor ecosystem. This was the background to US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing semiconductor supply chain and innovation partnership under the framework of the India – US Commercial Dialogue. Raimondo was in New Delhi between March 7 to 10 for the Dialogue.
The US presently has a ‘Chip 4’ alliance with the world’s top semiconductor makers – Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. Meanwhile, in September 2021, India, Japan, and Australia announced plans to establish a semiconductor supply chain initiative “to secure access to semiconductors and their components”.
- The Vedanta-Foxconn JV has finalized the Dholera Special Investment Region [near Ahmedabad city, Gujarat] as the location for their semiconductor and display manufacturing facility, a senior state government official confirmed to media on February 20, 2023.
- The Economic Times is reporting [February 10, 2023] that India is expected to open a second round of applications for semiconductor chip manufacturing under the US$10 billion incentive package by mid-March. The Indian government is also said to be in “advanced talks” with four global chipmakers to set up fab here, including “New York-headquartered Global Foundries and a South Korean semiconductor firm”. A source close to the government said to ET that a lot of the large semiconductor firms like TSMC, Samsung, and Intel had already committed investments in other countries, meaning the Indian government had to be more patient and think long-term. It’s also why the government intends to speak with more firms. Further, given the nascent status of the local supply chain, the government would also need to be on listener mode, according to the source.
Moreover, it appears that proposals by ISMC, IGSS Venture, and Rajesh Exports may not get final approvals for government incentives. For instance, ISMC is a JV between Israel’s TowerSemiconductor and Abu Dhabi-based Next Orbit Ventures. Their proposal – where TowerSemiconductor offered the requisite technology – was positively viewed; however, the Israeli firm is under acquisition by US-tech giant Intel, which hasn’t been completed. The government appears to have rejected the IGSS Venture and Rajesh Exports plans as not meeting the standards of the India Semiconductor Mission and lacking good technology partners. Interestingly, when the newspaper reached out to Singapore-based IGSS, they said they had not received official notification on the status of selection.
- Currently, the central government is offering 50 percent subsidy on fab units and state governments offer 10-25 percent subsidy over and above the central grant – however, while the incentives are lucrative, applicants must meet technology standards.
- The Economic Times is reporting that Foxconn and Vedanta are seeking to bring in European chipmaker STMicroelectronics as their technology partner in their proposed India manufacturing unit. The two companies announced their joint venture February 2021, with Foxconn as lead partner. Vedanta are reportedly seeking to onboard a CXO to head their semiconductor business.
- In early November, it was reported by Economic Times that Reliance Industries and leading software firm, HCL, are “independently ‘evaluating’ deals to purchase a 30% equity stake each in the semiconductor wafer fab applicant ISMC Analog.”
- At a Gujarat rally on November 23, PM Modi made a first formal announcement of the location of Vedanta and Foxconn’s proposed semiconductor manufacturing facility in Gujarat at Dholera, in the Bhavnagar neighborhood.
- ISMC’s proposed US$3 billion semiconductor fab may begin construction in Karnataka by February 2023, as per media reports. It will be 4-5 years till ISMC’s plant becomes operational.
- Three sub-committees to vet proposals under the Indian Semiconductor Mission (ISM) have been set up by the government. The proposals will be evaluated on their financial viability, technical expertise, and the financial capabilities of their partners, among various considerations.
Included in the first committee are members from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI). The second committee includes members from the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The third sub-committee has members from the 21-member ISM expert group and includes three domain experts. The ISM expert group is chaired by the Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
As of reporting in the media on November 1, 2022, authorities are expected to approve the “first applications soon”. The following applications are awaiting official approval to set up semiconductor fab units – Vedanta-Foxconn, Next Orbit Ventures-Tower Semiconductor (now owned by Intel), and Rajesh Exports. The consortiums have applied for incentives under the US$10 billion ISM package.
- The US deputy assistant secretary, South and Central Asia, Afreen Akhter, is leading a trade mission of semiconductors industry to India and has had meetings with India’s top government officials. The US intends to support India overcome challenges in the semiconductor supply chain and boost its local semiconductor manufacturing capacity. The US publicly seeking to strengthen its partnerships with “like-minded countries” like India and Taiwan. In a related context, in October, the US Department of Commerce implemented new export controls on advanced computing and semiconductors sold to China.
- The government and the India Semiconductor Mission is likely to start approving proposals to set up electronic chip and display manufacturing plants in the country in the next 30-60 days / over the next couple of months, as per Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s comments during a virtual address at the IESA Vision Summit held on October 12, 2022.
- The Ministry of Electronics and IT has plans to spend US$1.25-US$1.30 billion to modernize and upgrade its semiconductor laboratory (SCL) in Mohali. This spending is also targeted at strengthening intellectual property rights in India’s semiconductor sector. The SCL has now invited bids for the lab upgrade; qualified bidders must have a commercial partner on board to produce fabrication of chips designed by the lab. The last date for submitting bids to the SCL’s request for proposal (RFP) is October 25, 2022. The SCL aims to be able to produce 28-nm chips after upgradation.
- The government has approved modifications to the “Program for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India”, including fiscal support for project cost and capital expenditure. Following discussion with potential investors, it is expected that work on setting up the first semiconductor facility will commence soon. More details below.
- Vedanta-Foxconn are set to finalize a location for their facility in the next few weeks. The consortium are reportedly seeking a 800-1000 acre land parcel that is also well connected with Ahmedabad. The Gujarat government, as of media reports on September 16, showing sites at Sanand and Mandal-Becharaji in Ahmedabad district, two locations near Vadodara in central Gujarat, Dholera, Himmatnagar, Jamnagar, and Kutch. The plant has to be located at a distance from national and state highways so to cut off any vibration from heavy traffic movement. Further, no other major industry should be located in its vicinity.
- Various investor-technology consortiums like IGSS are asking the Indian government to make a final decision by October on approving incentives for applicants to the semiconductor manufacturing incentives program.
- Vedanta and Foxconn, in a 60-40 joint venture, will be setting up India’s first semiconductor production plant, a display fab unit, and a semiconductor assembling and testing unit over 1000 acres in Ahmedabad, state of Gujarat. The plant will begin production in two years as Foxconn plays the role of technical partner while Vedanta provides financial backing. The investment is worth over INR 1.54 trillion (approx. US$20 billion) and semiconductor manufacturing will be carried out by the holding company, Volcan Investments Limited.
- International consortium ISMC (US$3 billion investment) and Singapore-based IGSS (investment worth INR 256 billion) will be setting up semiconductor plants in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, respectively.
- The Indian government confirmed it has received proposals from five companies to establish electronic chip and display manufacturing plants with an investment of INR 1.53 trillion (approx. US$20.5 billion). Given the time-intensive decision-making process and international travel disruptions due to COVID-19, there is currently no firm deadline in place for companies submitting their applications to India’s semiconductor chip design and manufacturing scheme: Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for electronics and IT, speaking to The Economic Times. Initially, the first window for applications was until February 15.
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information (MeitY) is seeking applications from 100 domestic companies, start-ups and MSMEs under its Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme. The scheme has three components – Chip Design infrastructure support, Product Design Linked Incentive and Deployment Linked Incentive. C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), a scientific society operating under MeitY, will serve as the nodal agency for implementation of the DLI scheme. The DLI scheme aims to nurture at least 20 domestic companies involved in semiconductor design and facilitate them to achieve turnover of more than INR 15 billion in the next five years. A dedicated portal has been made available – www.chips-dli.gov.in – for inviting online applications from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024. The applicants can find the guidelines of the DLI Scheme on the portal and register themselves for availing support under the scheme.
- The IT ministry has released guidelines for implementation of the scheme and a semiconductor portal is being prepared for accepting and processing applications from interested companies. See here for government notified PDF links and application guidelines.
- India announced on December 30, 2021 that the government will start receiving proposals from companies for semiconductor and display manufacturing from January 1, 2022. Guidelines for the schemes have been notified. See here for information on the application process and fiscal support available: Semiconductor Companies Can Submit Proposals to Indian Govt. from January 1, 2022
- To learn more about the Indian government’s fresh incentives and ambitious support agenda for semiconductors, read our article: What Can Chip Companies Expect from India’s New Semiconductor Incentives Package?
- In order to drive long-term strategies for developing a sustainable semiconductors and display ecosystem, a specialized and independent “India Semiconductor Mission (ISM)” will be set up by the government. The India Semiconductor Mission will be led by global experts in semiconductor and display industry and act as the nodal agency for efficient and smooth implementation of the schemes on Semiconductors and Display ecosystem.
- On December 15, 2021, the Indian government cleared a INR 760 billion (>US$10 billion) package to boost semiconductor and display manufacturing. The program aims to provide attractive incentive support to companies / consortia that are engaged in Silicon semiconductor fabs, display fabs, compound semiconductors / silicon photonics / sensors (including MEMS) fabs, semiconductor packaging (ATMP / OSAT), semiconductor design. Incentives worth INR 2.3 trillion (approx. US$30.16 billion)will be available to position India as global hub for electronics manufacturing.
- Over 20 semiconductor manufacturing and designing companies in high-end, display, and specialty fabrication have reportedly submitted Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to set up manufacturing plants in India. The deadline was April 30, 2021.
- The government is open to introducing new incentives for chipmakers, beyond those detailed in the PLI scheme. It will likely be based on the investment coming in and the company’s area of work, type of fab, and requirement. No further information has been put out yet.
- India Briefing spotlights the latest developments in India’s nascent semiconductor industry, where the talent pool has focused, and recent government initiatives to boost investment growth.
Semiconductor schemes in India
|Semiconductor scheme in India
|Application form and submission guidelines
|Scheme for setting up of Semiconductor Fabs in India
|Link to PDF: Gazette Notification on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
|Link to PDF: Released December 30, 2021
|Scheme for setting up of Display Fabs in India
|Link to PDF: Gazette Notification on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
|Link to PDF: Released December 30, 2021
|Scheme for setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors Fab and Semiconductor Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) / OSAT facilities in India
|Link to PDF: Gazette Notification on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
|Link to PDF: Released December 30, 2021
Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme
|Link to PDF: Gazette Notification on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
Link to PDF: Gazette Notification on Thursday, December 30, 2021.
Link to Press Release dated January 16, 2022: Applications invited under the Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme from domestic semiconductor chip design firms
A dedicated portal has been made available – www.chips-dli.gov.in – for inviting online applications from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024. The applicants can find the guidelines of the DLI Scheme on the portal and register themselves for availing support under the scheme.
Modifications to the Program for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India
On September 21, 2022, the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved key modifications to the Program for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India:
- Fiscal support of 50 percent of project cost on pari-passu basis for all technology nodes under Scheme for Setting up of Semiconductor Fabs in India.
- Fiscal support of 50 percent of project cost on pari-passu basis under Scheme for Setting up of Display Fabs.
- Fiscal support of 50 percent of capital expenditure on pari-passu basis under Scheme for Setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors Fab and Semiconductor ATMP /OSAT Facilities in India. Additionally, target technologies under the Scheme will include discrete semiconductor fabs.
Under the modified program, a uniform fiscal support of 50 percent of project cost shall be provided across all technology nodes for setting up of semiconductor fabs. Given the niche technology and nature of compound semiconductors and advanced packaging, the modified program shall also provide fiscal support of 50 percent of capital expenditure in pari-passu mode for setting up of compound semiconductors / silicon photonics / sensors / discrete semiconductors fabs and ATMP/OSAT.
This article was originally published on April 6, 2021. It was last updated February 13, 2024.
India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write to email@example.com for more support on doing business in India.
- Previous Article Emerging Technologies Supporting Your India Retail Strategy: Location Analytics
- Next Article Cómo la industria del calzado de Tamil Nadu compite con los mercados del sudeste asiático