Govt to approach global semiconductor players for wafer fab

Govt to approach global semiconductor players for wafer fab

"The committe had its first meeting and discussed number of issues that will count in setting up wafer fabrication plant. We want interested companies to directly approach us, " the chairman of the committee, Sam Pitroda, told PTI.

Pitroda said that he is in touch with semiconductor association but will talk to the players directly.

"We need to talk to principals who can invest in setting up facility... We will talk to them one-by-one in next few months," he said.

Semiconductor wafer fabrication plants are used for manufacturing electronic chips that are used in electronic devices and act like heart of a device.

Pitroda mentioned that the committee will first focus on attracting investment in commercial market of semiconductor.

"We have to see that a wafer fab is viable in India. India is a huge market. Our need of electronics is growing day-by-day but we are importing most of the products," Pitroda said.

On semiconductor wafer fabriation for strategic sector like defence, he said, "It will come later."

Pitroda mentioned that the government has clear focus to boost local manufacturing in the country and semi-conductor forms an important form of whole eco-system.

"Around 30 to 40 per cent bill of material in a (electronic) product is for semiconductors. We have talent in India who design semiconductor but they are doing it for someone else's product," Pitroda said.

He added that cell phone and PC market in India is growing and hence the need for having local manufacturing of semiconductor is unavoidable.

"We need to reduce our import bill," Pitroda said.
In mid April, The Cabinet approved setting up high powered committee to set up two semiconductor wafer fabrication plant in the country with investment of Rs 25,000 crore (USD 5 billion approximately).

Estimates show that India's demand for electronics products (including telecom) will be USD 400 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile, at the existing rate of growth, the production of electronics hardware is likely to grow to USD 104 billion by 2020, creating a demand and supply gap of USD 296 billion, which would have to be met through imports.