Monday, March 4, 2024

Chips Ahoy: India Approves Three Semiconductor Fabs Totaling $15.2 Billion Investment

From TechCrunch, March 1:

India has approved allocating up to $15.2 billion (1.26 trillion Indian rupees) to build three new semiconductor plants, including its first semiconductor fab facility — part of the country’s big bid to take on China, Taiwan and other countries in the chip race.

Significantly, although AI chips are very much the talk of the industry right now, none of the three plants focus on that area of the market, aiming instead for more traction in general-purpose applications.

On Thursday, the Indian cabinet approved the country’s first semiconductor fab facility set up by the salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group and Taiwan’s Power Chip, which will be established in the Dholera region of Gujarat. The fab facility expects to have the capacity to produce 50,000 wafers per month, and it aims to manufacture 3 billion chips annually for a variety of market segments, including high-power computers, electric vehicles, telecom and power electronics.

The Indian IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told reporters at a media briefing in New Delhi that the construction work for the semiconductor fab will start within 100 days.

“A typical semiconductor fab, construction is a three-four-year time frame. We will be compressing it significantly [sic],” the minister said.

Alongside the semiconductor fab, the Indian government has approved the investment of $3.2 billion in a semiconductor assembly, testing, marking and packaging unit planned to be set up in the northeastern state of Assam by Tata Semiconductor Assembly and Test....