India’s Chip Making Vision May Start With ATMPs

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ATMP units might be the first ones to take off in India, followed by specialty fabs and then high-tech fabs

India is slowly becoming the largest mobile handset market in the world, big enough to attract global companies which are into the business of chip making. However, the lack of infrastructure required to support such companies is a big miss in the country.

Now a report by Livemint notes that India’s journey in the chip making arena might start with Assembly, Test, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units. Such units generally require less investment in comparison to full-fledged fabs, and at the same time facilitate bigger employment opportunities.

“We recommended (to the government) that we need to really focus on the 28nm technology node,” Livemint quoted Rajeev Khushu, chairman of the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA).

It is worth mentioning here that the country already has a PLI in existence that promises to reward such ATM units with incentive based on production. Dubbed Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), the scheme was launched in 2020, and promises financial incentive of 25 per cent on capital expenditure for the identified list of electronic goods, i.e., electronic components, semiconductor/ display fabrication units, ATMP units, specialized sub-assemblies and capital goods for manufacture of aforesaid goods.

Khushu shared with Livemint that ATMP units will be the first ones to take off in India, followed by specialty fabs and then high-tech fabs. It was reported earlier that around 20 companies had shown interest in the semiconductor manufacturing EOI raised by the government recently.

Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary, ministry of electronics and information technology, at an industry event in May, had noted that government of India has already received EoIs from global players and it would come up with concrete schemes for semiconductor manufacturing in India in six months. According to IESA, semiconductor consumption in India was around US$21 billion in 2019.

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