Dahej: Major reason for large semiconductor investments in Gujarat

The presence of a large chemical cluster in Dahej in the South-west coast of Gujarat is one of the major reasons for large ticket semiconductor investments happening in the region, said Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology.

On February 29, the Union Cabinet approved the establishment of three semiconductor units under ‘Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystems in India. All three units will start construction within the next 100 days.

In June, 2023, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal of Micron for setting up a semiconductor unit in Sanand, Gujarat. Tata Electronics Private Limited will set up a semiconductor fab in partnership with Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (PSMC), Taiwan. This fab will be constructed in Dholera in Gujarat at an investment of ₹91,000 crore.

CG Power, in partnership with Renesas Electronics Corporation, Japan and Stars Microelectronics, Thailand will set up a semiconductor unit in Sanand, Gujarat with an investment of ₹7,600 crore.

Tata Semiconductor Assembly and Test Pvt Ltd will set up a semiconductor unit in Morigaon, Assam with an investment of ₹27,000 crore.

Semiconductor manufacturing

Nearly 250 specialty gases and chemicals are required for semiconductor manufacturing. The large chemical cluster at Dahej can fulfil the demands of the semiconductor industry, which in fact found a lot of comfort in the cluster. This is the practical reason why there is a gravitation towards a place where the chemical industry is already there, the minister replied to a question on why large semiconductor investment is happening in the north.

The cumulative ecosystem in the four projects that have been approved is nearly ₹1.60 lakh crore. This is just the beginning. “In the next five years, we should be seeing four or five more fabs and more assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) units,” he told newspersons after inaugurating Qualcomm’s Chennai Design Centre.

Also read: Adani, Qualcomm CEO discuss India’s potential in AI, semiconductors

The semiconductor industry is very important for the country and at least eight more states are working very seriously now for future projects, he added.

The Government of India’s Semiconductor Mission is to create the entire value chain of semiconductor in India – starting with design, fabrication and ATMP. In addition, there is the talent pool, various types of gases and for semiconductor equipment.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for three projects – one fab and two ATMP units. Before that, Micron’s ATMP unit was inaugurated and construction is going on in a fast pace. India today has the capabilities in semiconductor design, fabrication, and in ATMP.

Gateway industry

The presence of a strong semiconductor value chain; ecosystem and the talent pipeline is the foundation for a developed nation. Semiconductor is the gateway to so many other industries, including automobile, laptop, server, mobile phones, consumer electronics and transportation. Everything where something is switched on or off uses a semiconductor. It is very important to get this value chain in India, he said.

“With today’s inauguration of the Qualcomm’s centre, every piece of the ecosystem and value chain is now set,” he said. “In the next term of Prime Minister Modi, we will build on this base and create a very strong semiconductor industry in the country. We will also look at developing chip sets from end-to-end; at new products and look at different verticals of electronics where we will go deep,” he added.

Also read: First semiconductor chip from Dholera to be produced by December 2026: Vaishnaw

The minister said Qualcomm will partner with the Government of India and the State governments to develop a roadmap for industrial electronics, automobile electronics, telecom electronics and developing more design capabilities in India.

“Like 105 5G labs across the country, on the same scale, we will set up 60 labs in India so that students can get more opportunities for various solutions. The Prime Minister has set a clear goal that the days of 2G are past behind us; in 5G we have equal or better to the world and in 6G we will lead the world. That is the pace in which we will work,” he said.

Tamil Nadu is a great talent state and has created so many good technologies. Today’s Qualcomm Design Centre is one milestone in the State’s talent journey. The speciality of the Centre is that it will design the semiconductor from end-to-end, he said.

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