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April 24, 2024

Government’s Ambitious Plan: Rs 20,000 Crore Investment in Modernising SCL Fab Plant

The Indian government is set to embark on a groundbreaking modernization journey for the Mohali-based Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), with plans requiring an investment of Rs 20,000 crore. This transformation aims to bolster India’s semiconductor capabilities, reducing dependence on imported chips and fostering domestic innovation in the sector.

According to government estimates, the cornerstone of this plan is the establishment of a new fabrication (fab) plant at SCL with a whopping capacity of 20,000 wafers per month. This massive undertaking is in line with India’s aspirations to become self-reliant in semiconductor manufacturing.

The proposed fab plant will not only significantly boost production but also mark a crucial shift in technology. Currently, SCL operates with nodes as high as 180 nanometres (nm), limiting its applications. However, the modernisation plan aims to transition towards more advanced nodes, starting from 28 nm and eventually down to 14 nm. This strategic move will align SCL with global standards and enhance its competitiveness in the semiconductor market.

Additionally, the plan envisions the establishment of a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) and prototype centre of excellence. This centre will focus on 300-millimetre wafer processing, employing cutting-edge semiconductor technology to develop innovative solutions and products.

The significance of this modernisation initiative cannot be overstated. With the global semiconductor industry experiencing unprecedented demand, driven by advancements in technology and emerging applications such as artificial intelligence, 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT), India’s strategic investment in its semiconductor infrastructure is timely and essential.

Moreover, the modernisation of SCL is poised to create a ripple effect across the entire electronics ecosystem in India. By strengthening the semiconductor manufacturing base, the country can reduce its reliance on imports, which currently account for a significant portion of its semiconductor needs. This move aligns with the government’s broader vision of promoting domestic manufacturing under the “Make in India” initiative.

Furthermore, the modernised SCL fab plant will play a crucial role in supporting various strategic sectors, including defense, telecommunications, automotive, and consumer electronics. It will enable indigenous production of critical components, fostering innovation and job creation while ensuring the security and sovereignty of India’s supply chain.

The investment in upgrading SCL’s capabilities also underscores the government’s commitment to nurturing a robust semiconductor ecosystem in the country. By encouraging collaboration between industry, academia, and research institutions, the modernisation plan aims to accelerate the pace of innovation and technology development in India.

In parallel, the government’s efforts to establish the Tata fab plant in Dholera, Gujarat, further bolster India’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. With a planned production capacity of 50,000 wafers per month, this facility will complement the operations of SCL, contributing to the country’s goal of achieving semiconductor self-sufficiency.

In conclusion, the modernisation of the SCL fab plant represents a significant milestone in India’s journey towards becoming a global semiconductor hub. With substantial investments and strategic foresight, the government is laying the foundation for a thriving semiconductor industry that will drive innovation, economic growth, and technological sovereignty in the years to come.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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