Vibrant Gujarat 2024: 3 MoUs inked, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw suggests IIT Gandhinagar to establish centre of excellence for semiconductor R&D

  • Kunvarji Realty
  • 12/01/2024

Vibrant Gujarat 2024: 3 MoUs inked, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw suggests IIT Gandhinagar to establish centre of excellence for semiconductor R&D

Source: The Indian Express

Continuing to urge the semiconductor sector to invest in Gujarat and India at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, Union Minister for Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday requested IIT Gandhinagar to establish a centre of excellence for research and development (R&D) of semiconductors.

The minister also claimed that a semiconductor fabrication facility by Tata Group — for which the Union government is evaluating a proposal at present — will be “bigger” than Micron Technology’s semiconductor plant coming up at Sanand.

Vaishnaw, who also holds the Railways portfolio, added that the next decade will require a million more talents in the industry, which India can provide.

Hailing the push for semiconductor manufacturing in India and requesting the IIT to set up a centre of excellence, Vaishnaw said: “We will put in whatever resources are required… so that we can create an ecosystem for R&D, validating new ideas and taking the entire journey to the next level.”

“The semiconductor industry is going to require a million more talents in the next decade…this will come from India. This million-strong talent is part of semiconductor missions’ biggest goal and we have already tied up with 104 universities and institutions to develop BTech, and MTech-PhD level talent and have also tied up with institutions which will give excellent training for managing clean rooms,” he added.

Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said while the construction of the first phase of its testing and assembly plant at Sanand is underway, the second phase “is expected to start in the second half of the decade”. He added they have already hired nearly 200 employees and “some of these initial hires are already undergoing training at Malaysia and Mohali SCL (Semiconductor Lab) Centre.”

At least three MoUs were also signed at the event. As per the MoU signed between Gujarat government and Simmtech — a South Korean PCB-manufacturing company — the firm proposed to invest more than Rs 1,250 crore and generate over 1,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.

Responding to queries by The Indian Express at a press conference on the allocation and deadline set by Simmtech to realise the pledged amount, Vaishnaw said: “Simmtech works very closely with the final chip manufacturer. Chip manufacturer (Micron Technology’s) schedule is to produce the first chip by December 2024. Back calculating from this (Micron’s) schedule, Simmtech will start work in next one or three months and to establish its set-up, it will take another six to seven months… before December 2024, it will be ready (to aid Micron in producing its first chip).”

Notably, the Micron CEO on Wednesday had indicated at a delay in schedule, stating that the facility’s cleanroom space will be operational by early 2025, an extension from the earlier deadline of 2024-end.

“Simmtech has applied under SPECS (Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors) scheme of the Union government (under MEITY), where it will get 25 per cent capital subsidy… its project has also been approved under the Gujarat government’s electronics policy. It has been given 30 acre of land at Sanand GIDC. Around Rs 1,250 crore will be utilised for work in the first phase and setting up of the unit,” he added.

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