India’s Semiconductor Surge: Technological Geopolitics in Asia-Pacific

Amidst the ongoing expansion of the global semiconductor industry, nations worldwide are strategically reevaluating and strengthening their positions within this vibrant sector.

Amidst the ongoing expansion of the global semiconductor industry, nations worldwide are strategically reevaluating and strengthening their positions within this vibrant sector. This proactive approach is driven by the imperative to maintain a competitive edge and adapt to the ever-evolving demands of the industry.

As countries recognize the significance of semiconductors in powering modern technology, they are increasingly investing in infrastructure, fostering innovation, and forging strategic partnerships to bolster their standing in this dynamic and pivotal field.

The global semiconductor industry has long been dominated by a few key players, with countries like Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States leading the pack. Nevertheless, India is now making significant strides to carve out its own space in this lucrative sector.

With ambitious plans to ramp up semiconductor manufacturing capacity in 2024, India aims to reduce its dependence on imports and foster domestic production of electronic components. This proactive approach not only strengthens India’s position in the global electronics market but also holds the potential to drive economic growth and technological innovation within the country.

Driven by a combination of economic, strategic, and technological considerations, India’s aspirations in the semiconductor industry are supported by comprehensive government initiatives. These encompass the implementation of attractive financial incentives, favorable policies, and substantial investments in infrastructure development, all aimed at enticing top-tier global semiconductor companies to establish a presence in India.

At the heart of India’s semiconductor expansion strategy lies the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, a government initiative aimed at incentivizing domestic production across various sectors, including electronics.

Through this scheme, the government offers financial incentives to companies that manufacture specified electronic components within India, thereby boosting local production and reducing reliance on imports. Strategic collaborations with global semiconductor giants bring in valuable expertise and technological know-how, accelerating India’s journey towards self-sufficiency in semiconductor manufacturing.

In the year 2024, India stands at the cusp of a significant transformation in its semiconductor industry, with several groundbreaking fab projects. These initiatives symbolize a collaboration between Indian enterprises and global semiconductor leaders, signifying a pivotal moment in India’s technological journey.

One such venture, spearheaded by the Tata Group in partnership with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (PSMC), is set to establish India’s inaugural semiconductor fab in Dholera, Gujarat. This facility, focusing on cutting-edge computer chips and power management technology, holds the promise of bolstering India’s technological autonomy with a robust production capacity of 50,000 wafers per month.

Simultaneously, Micron Technology, a global semiconductor giant, has announced plans to invest $825 million in a new assembly and test facility in Gujarat. Anticipated to become operational by late 2024, this facility signifies a noteworthy addition to India’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.

Further contributing to India’s semiconductor ecosystem is a collaborative effort between CG Power, Renesas Electronics Corporation, and Stars Microelectronics to establish a chip packaging plant in Sanand, Gujarat. This facility, specializing in a wide range of applications including consumer electronics and automotive sectors, aims to produce 15 million chips daily.

In addition to these ventures, Simmtech’s investment in a chip component plant in Gujarat, alongside Micron’s facility, underlines the concerted efforts to establish a comprehensive semiconductor manufacturing infrastructure in the region.

In Assam, Tata Semiconductor Assembly and Test Pvt Ltd (TSAT) is gearing up to establish a fab unit equipped with advanced semiconductor packaging technologies. With an ambitious target of producing 48 million chips per day, TSAT’s initiative signifies a significant step towards technological advancement in the region.

India’s endeavors to expand semiconductor manufacturing not only aim to establish its prominence in the global industry but also promise to enhance technological self-reliance, reduce import dependencies, and drive innovation.

These efforts carry significant geopolitical implications, as they bolster India’s strategic autonomy and reduce its vulnerability to supply chain disruptions, thereby enhancing its geopolitical stature. While challenges such as infrastructure development and skilled labor shortages remain, concerted efforts from the government and industry stakeholders can overcome these hurdles.

Projections indicate robust growth for India’s semiconductor market, fueled by increasing demand and digitalization trends, positioning India as a vital player in the global supply chain. With initiatives like the PLI scheme and strategic partnerships, India is poised for significant advancement in the semiconductor arena, driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and solidifying its position as a global technology leader.

India’s semiconductor industry expansion holds significant geopolitical implications beyond its technological advancements. By aiming to reduce import dependency and bolster domestic production, India seeks to secure strategic advantages in critical sectors while mitigating vulnerabilities to geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions.

Collaborations with global semiconductor giants like Taiwan, Japan and the United States signal a reconfiguration of geopolitical alliances, enhancing India’s stature and influence in the global semiconductor landscape.

India’s emergence as a semiconductor manufacturing hub could reshape regional dynamics in Asia-Pacific, and fostering economic cooperation and alignment among neighboring countries. As other nations observe India’s semiconductor ambitions, the technological geopolitical landscape is poised for further shifts and realignments driven by technological progress and economic considerations.