Suppliers of Micron Technology, the memory and storage chip manufacturer that has announced plans to build a semiconductor packing plant in India, have called for extended government support, as they prepare to create a footprint near the new facility.
Micron last month announced plans to build a semiconductor assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) plant in Gujarat under the government’s $10 billion production-linked incentive scheme. Global chip majors have been cautious in participating in the scheme due to the absence of local supply chains for chip manufacturing in India, which requires hundreds of raw materials.
While speaking at the SemiconIndia, 2023 global summit, suppliers of raw materials, services and utilities for semiconductor manufacturing revealed their plans to invest in Gujarat alongside Micron.
“We are now evaluating and preparing for another co-location investment with Micron. The key consideration is whether we can receive the same level of support from the local government. We would like the local agencies to view our project not as a standalone project, but as a part of the entire supply chain,” said Jeffery Chun, Simmtech, a supplier of IC packaging substrate to tier-1 semiconductor firms.
Chun said, “Our co-location project is focused on our global customer’s movement. But at the same time, we understand that especially in India, there is a huge demand for our products printed circuit boards and IC substrates.” He added that his company’s co-location investments in China and Malaysia had attracted other investors to the region and strengthened the local supply chain.
Raja Vinay, business development lead at Air Liquide said, “We are keenly looking at the developments and rapid strides of the semicon sector and we will contribute to the development of this ecosystem.” Air Liquide is a provider of high-purity industrial gases for chip manufacturing.
Vinay said the government should consider extending the capex subsidy benefits and provide land allocation and uninterrupted power supply to the new units.
Chan Pin Chong, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Kulicke & Soffa (K&S), which supplies equipment solutions for chip packaging, said his company was willing to expand in India to support Micron’s upcoming plant.
“From a regulatory perspective, it’s important to understand we get the parts in and out in the region hubs. For example, when you run a 24×7 factory in Gujarat, we would like to see how we can see move-in parts and storage without being inhibited by import duties and regulatory things that can slow down the process,” he said.
So far, the production-linked incentive scheme last year companies like Taiwan’s Foxconn, Indian conglomerate Vedanta group, and Israeli firm Tower Semiconductor have shown interest in the government’s scheme and promised multi-billion dollar investment in setting up units to manufacture chips.
Gursharan Singh, Senior Vice President – Global Back-End Operations at MicronTechnology (Moderator), said the company was keen to operationalise the factory by the end of 2024.
“We will be first setting up our training centre. Micron has already acquired a factory and we have asked (the suppliers) for equipment with the shortest lead time and set it up so that our engineers can start learning,” Singh said.
Micron currently has 12 locations including ATMP plants and R&D engineering sites across the globe.
Disco Corp., which provides dicing and grinding tools for silicon wafers, is willing to work with local colleges, hire fresh graduates and provide them with on-job training.
“Disco has already more than 100 units of installation base of our products in India. With the bigger chip manufacturer like Micron establishing an assembly facility, we have to provide very fast support. In that case, we need very skilful local engineers. We would like to ask the government to introduce that kind of talent to our company,” Noboru Yoshinaga, Executive vice president of Disco Corp. said.