Mohali fab unit’s modernizing model to be decided by yr-end

Mohali fab unit’s modernizing model to be decided by yr-end

Tech News

Mohali: The government will take a call by the year end on whether Mohali-based Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) will be developed further as a research and development facility or a commercial fab will be set up at the facility, according to a senior official. “The request for proposals for modernizing SCL has been issued only last week, but the government wants to move swiftly. Within a quarter, a call will be taken on which direction it will go, either R&D fab or a commercial fab,” the official said, asking not to be named.

The ministry of electronics and information technology that issued a preliminary information memorandum seeking expressions of interest (EoI) from global and Indian players for modernizing SCL, is expecting responses latest by 21 October. “The future course of action also depends on the interest from private players to the modernization proposal,” the official added.

As per the EoI, the government is exploring two options. One, transforming SCL into an R&D-led centre of excellence with semicon R&D capabilities encompassing advanced nodes, advanced packaging, compound semiconductors, design and EDA tools, materials and other R&D areas. Within this, a new R&D-cum-prototyping line for 300 mm wafer processing on advanced nodes – of 28nm or below – would be set up, with a roadmap on progressing from 28nm to 14nm and below nodes over time. This R&D fab could also have advanced packaging capabilities. For this option, the government may provide 100% capital expenditure support.

Two, converting it into an at-scale manufacturing entity with volume production of semiconductor devices or chips. This new commercial unit could do either silicon semiconductor chip fabrication, compound semiconductor chip fabrication or assembly, testing and packaging. Within this, the government has provided two options. One, a multi-entity joint venture model, where government can extend capital support of 50% of the overall project cost and take majority equity stake. The private player will have complete operational autonomy. Two, a build, operate and maintain model where government will provide 100% capital infusion but retain 100% ownership.

The private player will build, operate and maintain the resultant entity on a fixed income and or, a profit-sharing basis, for a minimum period of 15 years.

A combination of the two could also be explored.

Set up in 1984, the country’s only facility which produces, packages and sells its own semiconductor chips or integrated circuits, had been destroyed by fire in 1989 and restarted production in 1997, missing the bus for becoming a major supplier to local or global needs. Under the government’s newfound focus on making India self-reliant as well as a semiconductor manufacturing hub for the future, SCL is getting a 10,000 crore makeover, that was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2022.

The autonomous body which was brought under MEITY last year from the department of space which had the administrative control of SCL since 2006, currently operates two wafer fabrication lines with a combined capacity of approximate 750 wafer starts per month (WSPM). It undertakes design, fabrication, assembly and packaging, testing and quality assurance of two types of silicon devices for various applications. SCL also has a compound semiconductor research facility.

SCL’s chips have been used in India’s Mars Orbiter Mission and more recently in the Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission which landed on moon last month.

“Exciting news! Mint is now on WhatsApp Channels 🚀 Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights!” Click here!

Catch all the Technology News and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.


Updated: 01 Oct 2023, 10:46 PM IST

Source link

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments