“MeitY Committee Recommends $2.5 Billion India Semiconductor Research Centre to Boost Industry Leadership”

MeitY Committee Recommends Setting Up $2.5 Billion India Semiconductor Research Centre

A committee operating under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has recommended the creation of the India Semiconductor Research Centre (ISRC) with an estimated investment of $2.5-3 billion. The primary goal of this endeavor is to position India as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing, spanning from design to product development. The government envisions ISRC as a world-class research institution, concentrating on various aspects of semiconductor technology, including processes, advanced packaging, compound semiconductors, and Fabless design and EDA tools.

The India Semiconductor R&D Committee recently submitted a comprehensive report outlining these recommendations to the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. According to Chandrasekhar, the government plans to initiate the establishment of this research center in 2024 through collaboration with industry and academic partners.

The committee’s members include industry experts such as Randhir Thakur of Tata Electronics, Hem Takiar of Micron Technology, the CEO of the Indian Semiconductor Mission, as well as professors from esteemed institutions like IIT Bombay, Kanpur, and Madras. Officials from MeitY and other representatives from the industry also contribute to the committee’s expertise.

Chandrasekhar emphasized the significance of this initiative, stating, “After being absent from the semiconductor ecosystem for decades and missing many opportunities, we are now playing catch-up. This institution will be a core institution in India’s growing capabilities in semiconductors.” He likened ISRC to renowned global research institutions in the field, highlighting its role as a pioneer in cutting-edge semiconductor technologies.

The committee’s report highlights the necessity of establishing a clean room for silicon fabrication and advanced packaging, estimating a floor space of 1-1.5 lakh sq ft and 20,000-30,000 sq ft, respectively. The project is expected to nurture chip design, fabrication, and packaging R&D, encourage indigenous innovation, and provide a platform for prototyping next-generation chipsets for applications like AI, 5G/6G, and IoT/manufacturing 4.0.

To execute this initiative, the estimated capital expenditure for the first three years is projected to be $2.5-3 billion. The annual operating expense for maintaining the research center is estimated to range from $250 million to $500 million.

In addition to R&D, the committee emphasizes the need for education and industry partnerships in the semiconductor sector. Over a five-year period, it is estimated that this would cost the government Rs 3,200 crore, with the industry’s contribution being approximately Rs 680 crore.

Several prominent companies, including Vedanta, Samsung, Sahasra Semi, Qualcomm, Micron, Microsoft, and Intel, have expressed interest in collaborating for research and development, education, and talent development within the semiconductor research center.

The committee further recommends the establishment of a robust governance structure for ISRC, comprising boards of directors, a technical advisory board, and a management team. These entities will work together to chart a comprehensive roadmap for ISRC, focusing on advanced silicon, packaging R&D, compound/power semiconductors, chip design, and EDA as the foundational pillars of research.

The proposal for the India Semiconductor Research Centre reflects a strategic effort to bolster India’s position in the global semiconductor industry and foster innovation in this critical technological domain.

Sources By Agencies

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