Global semiconductor giants line up to make in India

Global semiconductor majors Foxconn, Micron Technology, Applied Materials, SEMI and Cadence and AMD bullish on India as a manufacturing base and a key global market driver.

By Ajit Dalvi & Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 29 Jul 2023 Views icon4408 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

SemiconIndia 2023, which is being held from July 28-30 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is seeing the who’s who of the chip- and semiconductor manufacturing world attend the three-day event, all of them keen to make the most of the global opportunity that India presents in a VUCA (Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous.) world and the need for a reliable supply chain. 

Under its overall theme of ‘Catalysing India’s Semiconductor Ecosystem’, SemiconIndia 2023 has brought together global leaders from industry, academia and research institutions. The mega event showcases India’s semiconductor strategy and policy which envisions making India a global hub for semiconductor design, manufacturing and technology development. SemiconIndia 2023 sees the participation of representatives of major companies such as Micron Technology, Applied Materials, Foxconn, SEMI, Cadence and AMD among others, many of whom announced plans to manufacture in India or expand their existing operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated SemiconIndia 2023, recalled the participation in the first edition of Semicon last year and highlighted the questions raised at the time about investing in India in the semiconductor industry. He underlined that the questions have transformed over a period of one year from ‘Why invest in India’ to ‘Why not invest in India’. “There has been a directional change due to the efforts of the industry leaders”, he said as he felicitated industry leaders for showing their belief in India.

Referring to the side effects of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the Prime Minister said that the world needs a reliable supply chain. “Who can be a more trusted partner than the world’s largest democracy”, he said. He expressed happiness about the growing global trust in India. “Investors trust India as it has a stable, responsible and reform-oriented government. The industry has faith in India as infrastructure is developing in every sector. The tech sector believes in India as technology is growing here. The semiconductor Industry trusts India as we have a massive talent pool,” he said.

“Skilled engineers and designers are our strength. Anyone who wants to be a part of the world's most vibrant and unified market has faith in India. When we tell you to make in India, it also includes that let's make for India, Make for the world,” he added.

Young Liu, chairman of Taiwanese semiconductor major Foxconn, highlighted the 'buffalo spirit' of the Taiwan semiconductor Industry, which is the ability to work hard without complaining and said that the same spirit can be applied in India. Referring to the high ‘say-do’ ratio of the Indian government, Liu underlined the importance of trust and working together to overcome the challenges just like Taiwan did many years ago. He expressed confidence and optimism in the will and determination of the Indian government to lead the semiconductor industry. “IT stands for India and Taiwan”, Mr Liu said, quoting the prime minister and assured that Taiwan will be India’s most trusted and reliable partner in the semiconductor industry.

Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMIthe global industry association serving the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, said for the first time in India’s history, geopolitics, domestic politics and private capacities are aligned in India’s favour to become a player in semiconductor production. He said the recent investment by Micron will set the stage for others to follow, adding that India would be the next powerhouse in semiconductor in Asia.

On June 22, Micron Technology, one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies, announced plans to build a new assembly and test facility in Gujarat, India. Micron’s new facility will enable assembly and test manufacturing for both DRAM and NAND products and address demand from domestic and international markets. Micron’s investment will be up to $825 million (Rs 6,800 crore) over the two phases of the project.

Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO of Micron Technology, expressed pride in the setting up of a semiconductor assembly and test facility in the state of Gujarat and said that this project is going to create nearly 5,000 jobs along with 15,000 additional jobs in the coming years.

Mark Papermaster, EVP and CTO, AMD, announced that AMD will invest approximately 400 million dollars (Rs 3,300 crore) in the next five years. He said AMD will enhance its R&D capabilities. The planned investment includes a new AMD campus in Bengaluru, Karnataka that will serve as the company’s largest design centre, as well as the addition of approximately 3,000 new engineering roles by the end of 2028. AMD has been an active part of the semiconductor ecosystem in India since 2001 when the company’s first site was established in New Delhi. The new Bengaluru campus will increase the AMD office footprint to 10 total locations across these cities: Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

“I welcome AMD's decision to set up its largest R&D design center in India and expansion of the India-AMD partnership. It will certainly play an important role in building a world class semiconductor design and innovation ecosystem,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Dr Prabu Raja, President, Semiconductor Product Group, Applied Materials said that with the strong vision of prime minister Modi India is poised to play a central role in the global semiconductor industry. “We firmly believe that this is India’s time to shine,” he said.

Anirudh Devgan, President and CEO, Cadence said it is really good to see India finally investing into semiconductors. He expressed happiness that the government is investing in the entire ecosystem.

Anil Aggrawal, Chairman, Vedanta Group said that experts feel that Gujarat is the right place for the Silicon Valley of India.

Megatrends of autonomous mobility, electrification, connectivity and vehicle safety, all of which call for chips with a high level of memory and storage, are driving humungous demand for semiconductors in the global auto industry.

Global auto industry's growth banks on secure supplies of chips

It’s likely most people barely three years ago wouldn’t have heard of semiconductors or chips. Now, this critical electronics dominates the topic of conversation for vehicle manufacturers as a result of the unprecedent disruption of global supply chains the automotive world faced following the pandemic and beyond.

A few months into CY2020, with the Covid 19 pandemic, the automotive industry was ‘chip-wrecked’ by the massive shortage of semiconductor chips which curtailed vehicle production the world over. . The chip crisis initially stemmed from increased demand for personal computers, tablets and smartphones, which largely diverted supply away from the automotive sector. The over-reliance of the sector on China as a leading chip supplier also exacerbated the issue. Given the high level of connectivity and features in most modern cars, two-wheelers and other vehicles, OEMs are now stocking up on chips to ensure smoother production – and also looking to future-proof supplies.

Many vehicle manufacturers, including some in India, are still feeling the strain and have in the recent past confirmed significant deals with large electronics manufacturers to ensure sustained supplies of chips well into the future.

What is also driving the humungous demand for chips in the automotive industry are the megatrends of autonomous mobility, electrification, connectivity and vehicle safety, all of which call for chips with a high level of memory and storage.

This means chip manufacturers, for whom the global auto industry is a significant growth driver, are looking to expand their manufacturing footprint and India, which offers several advantages, is a good business opportunity as a viable chip-manufacturing hub.

All images from SemiconIndia 2023: PIB


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