Current Affairs

India unveils First ‘Semicon India 2022 Conference’

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  • Categories
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    11th May, 2022
  • Context

    As a component of India's Semiconductor Mission, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently unveiled the 1st Semicon India 2022 Conference in Bangalore.

    • Semicon India – 2022 was organised to carry forward the Prime Minister's view of making India a leader in electronics production, semiconductor layout, production & innovation.
  • Background

    • Semiconductors, fundamental components of various range of products are gaining strategic importance in this expanding technological space.
    • Covid 19 has also induced the demand for new technological involvement in various fields and uses of various computer devices.
    • With the view to cater the domestic demand and be a player in the world supply chain India has taken a step forward and unveiled the 1st Semicon India Conference, to promote the Semiconductor mission.
  • Analysis

    What is a semiconductor?

    • Semiconductors are any type of crystalline solids intermediate between electrical conductors and insulators.

    What are the uses of semiconductors?

    Semiconductors a solid chemical substance, have electrical properties and conducts electricity under certain conditions, which enables them to serve as the foundation for computers and various other electronic devices:

    • Defence technology
    • Automobiles
    • Communication technology
    • Space technology
    • Household appliances
    • Health care and medical technologies.
  • Why are semiconductors getting importance in the contemporary era?

    • Increasing demand for electronics: In the contemporary era, demand for electronics devices and computer devices is increasing.
    • Covid induced: Covid pandemic has induced a new set of limitations and opportunities, which includes the use of technological devices like computers and cyberspace.
    • Health care preparedness: Global Pandemic has plated the need for health care preparedness for the whole world with proper technological advancements and medical equipment.
    • Space race: In contemporary times outer space is getting a strategic focus. Semiconductor again plays a fundamental role in space technology.
    • Defence and Security: To secure the borders and hinterland of a national defence technology plays the central role, the demand 
  • What is a semiconductor mission?

    • The government is focused on its important objective of building the overall semiconductor ecosystem and ensuring that, in in-turn catalyses India’s rapidly expanding electronics manufacturing and innovation ecosystem.
    • India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) has been set up as an Independent Business Division within Digital India Corporation having administrative and financial autonomy to formulate and drive India’s long term strategies for developing semiconductors and display manufacturing facilities and semiconductor design ecosystem. ISM will serve as the nodal agency for efficient, coherent and smooth implementation of the schemes.
    • Four schemes were introduced under the aforesaid program
      • The scheme for setting up Semiconductor Fabs in India provides fiscal support to eligible applicants for setting up Semiconductor Fabs which is aimed at attracting large investments for setting up semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities in the country.
        • 28nm or Lower - Up to 50% of the Project Cost
        • Above 28 nm to 45nm - Up to 40% of the Project Cost
        • Above 45 nm to 65nm - Up to 30% of the Project Cost
      • The scheme for setting up Display Fabs in India provides fiscal support to eligible applicants for setting up Display Fabs which is aimed at attracting large investments for setting up TFT LCD / AMOLED based display fabrication facilities in the country. The Scheme provides fiscal support of up to 50% of Project Costs subject to a ceiling of INR 12,000 crore per Fab.
      • Scheme for setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors Fab and Semiconductor Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) / OSAT facilities in IndiaDesign Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme offers financial incentives, design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design
  • Why semiconductor is significant for India?

    • Reduce import dependency: Being self-dependent in semiconductor manufacturing will provide a cushion to reduce the import dependency for India.
    • Creation of new jobs: The semiconductor manufacturing hub has the potential to cater for the problem of unemployment and can provide ample scope for job creation.
    • Attracting Investments: New industries and new manufacturing hubs will attract both domestic and foreign investment, which can 
    • Widen the scope for new demand creation: Semiconductor's mission can cater for the demand for semiconductors for domestic manufacturers as well as can create new doors for the technological revolution.
    • Position in World supply chain: At the global level very few countries dominate the semiconductor industry, e.g., South Korea, China, Taiwan, Netherlands, U.S.A and Japan. India emerging as a new semiconductor hub will provide a wider scope for diversification of the supply chain. 
    • At the regional level: At the regional level, i.e., in South Asia and South-East Asia, many third world nations have a demand for semiconductors in which India can be the major supplier for the demand.
    • Space Mission: India is focusing on various space missions, which also increase the domestic demand for semiconductors.
    • Defence and security: to ensure integrity, sovereignty and security of the nation India is focusing on self-dependent in defence manufacturing which increases the domestic demand for semiconductors.
    • The advent of E-vehicle: India is promoting its electronics vehicle policy for clean transportation, in which semiconductors becomes the essential components.
  • What are the global situation and initiatives?

    • At the global level supply chain of semiconductors is dominated by a few countries:
      • Japan
      • USA
      • China
      • Taiwan
      • Netherlands
      • South Korea
    • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company alone accounts for 24% of the world's semiconductor supply.
    • TSMC has set up a $12 billion facility in Arizona.
    • Japan and Germany have also initiated to start speciality technology fabs with TSMC.
  • What are major concerns over semiconductor manufacturing?

    Semiconductor industries, despite many positive and strategic importance it has many environmental consequences as well, such as:

    • Air pollution
    • Groundwater depletion and contamination
    • Hazardous chemical by-products
    • Generation of e-waste
  • What should be the step forward for India?

    • Creating a fab manufacturing hub within the domestic boundaries.
    • Raw material supply capabilities: India should also focus on raw material supply capabilities within its domestic boundaries.
    • Startups and R&D: New startups and R&D in the domain of the semiconductor industry should be included in the policy framework.
    • E-waste management: India should also focus on its e-waste management system to reduce the social cost of the semiconductor industries. 
  • Conclusion

    In this expanding technological, cyber and outer space, demand for semiconductors is increasing where the global supply chain remained restricted in some countries. To diversify the supply chain and cater the domestic demand, India is also focusing on Semiconductor manufacturing. In the contemporary scenario advancement of the health care sector, space and defence technology are some major focused areas for every nation. In the view to cater for the need, India should focus on the hassle-free and hurdle free growth of the semiconductor sector. The policy framework should also include the post-manufacturing impact and e-waste management to mitigate the cost.

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