NEW DELHI: As US-based chip maker Micron Technology announced its plan to invest $825 million to set up its semiconductor assembly and test plant in Gujarat, the government expects the company to manufacture the first made-in-India chip by December 2024.
While briefing the press on Friday, telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that many big names in the semiconductor industry have sent their enquiry, and India will soon have 4-5 large semiconductor fabrication, packaging and testing plants. “In the next six quarters we are anticipating that Micron Technology will start manufacturing the first made-in-India chips,” said Vaishnaw.
Micron has already completed land acquisition, factory design work and tax compliance-related agreement. India approved the application of Micron, the world’s fifth-largest semiconductor manufacturing company under the government’s ‘Modified Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) scheme. The company will receive 50% fiscal support for the total project cost from the Central government and incentives representing 20% from the Gujarat government. Subsequently, the total investment will be $2.75 billion, and it would generate up to 5,000 new direct and 15,000 indirect jobs in the next five years.
“When the semiconductor programme was launched in January 2022, we had a target to launch the first unit in the next 14-18 months. So the first unit is there and is on track and more units, including big chipmakers, will come,” added the minister.
The government opened the application for Rs 76,000-crore Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in January 2022. The government had received only three applications then -- Vedanta-Foxconn joint venture, Next Orbit Ventures (which has partnered with Israel’s Tower Semiconductor), and Singapore-based IGSS Ventures.
However, the government modified the scheme in May and asked for fresh applications. The minister said the market dynamics have changed a lot in the past two years as the electric vehicle industry has flourished and the telecom industry has grown. Earlier, there was a race for the lowest nodes, but now the demand is for mature nodes. “They will have to modify the application. They have the option to find a new technology partner or have the option to focus on a particular sector. They have the option to change the application as per the requirements of the industry,” said Ashwini Vaishnaw.