Micron’s investment in a semiconductor packaging plant in Dholera, Gujarat has spurred interest from other companies as well, according to Rajeev Chandrasekhar Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology.

Speaking at a select media event, attended by businessline, Chandrasekhar observed that after the announcement of Micron’s plans to invest $800 million in India, several entities have reached out to the government. “Compound fabs have reached out to us, four to five ATMP (assembly, testing, marking, packaging) projects have reached out to us, since the announcement of Micron investment- memory companies have reached out to us,” he said.

A good sign

Chandrasekhar noted that even interest in the packaging and assembly side is a good sign, as it could be a first step in the ladder of ending up with a semiconductor fabrication unit, the holy grail of the semiconductor supply chain. “You look at Micron as ATMP, and I look at it as first starting with an ATMP and then ending with a fab.”

Chandrasekhar was speaking at SeminconIndia 2023, held in Gandhinagar on Saturday. Earlier in the day, Chandrasekhar had also indicated that the Centre might consider opening the design-led incentive for semiconductor start-ups to larger enterprises as well. The scheme which was launched last year, hoped to give domestic start-ups a leg up by, “offering financial incentives as well as design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design(s) for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design(s) over a period of 5 years.”

Elaborating further Chandrasekhar said, “One of the suggestions that have come up, which is on the design and innovation side, not to limit it only to start-ups, that if there is a big Indian company or a foreign company that wants to design in India, we should allow future design schemes to support them as well.”

On Saturday, the government announced MoUs with  two more semiconductor design start-ups/MSMEs under the DLI scheme. These two start-ups/MSMEs selected for support under the DLI scheme are Aheesa Digital Innovations and Calligo Technologies.

Chandrasekhar added that incentives under the IT PLI 2.0, which is the subsidy scheme for IT hardware — using a locally manufactured chip during manufacturing will be cheaper than importing it — as per the ministry’s design. Once Micron’s made-in-India chip is available, it will be much cheaper to use it while manufacturing versus the imported counterpart.