Micron’s Ambitious Plans: Multiple Semiconductor Units Set to Emerge in India, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Micron

In a significant development for India’s burgeoning semiconductor industry, Micron Technology Inc. is gearing up to establish several semiconductor assembly and packaging units alongside its already proposed fabrication unit, according to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology. This strategic move signals Micron’s long-term commitment to India as a vital market and manufacturing hub for semiconductors.

Chandrasekhar emphasized the pivotal role played by Micron’s initial investment in India, which has prompted other industry players to seriously consider the country for semiconductor assembly and, potentially, manufacturing. As a result, the Indian government is committed to ensuring the successful operation of Micron’s first plant and expediting its functionality.

“If this first major investment by Micron proves successful – and it is our responsibility to make sure it succeeds – two significant outcomes emerge. Firstly, it serves as a beacon, attracting other companies and investments to locations like Dholera and beyond. Secondly, those who choose to invest in India recognize the value in scaling up their operations to achieve greater levels of growth,” stated the minister during an interview last week.

Chandrasekhar’s remarks echo the sentiments expressed by Micron’s CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, during the Semicon India 2023 event in July. Mehrotra revealed that the semiconductor and packaging giant is preparing for the next phase of expansion, expected to take place in the latter half of the decade. Micron had previously announced an $800 million investment to establish a semiconductor assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) unit in Gujarat’s Sanand. According to insiders, more such units are in the pipeline following the successful launch of the first.

“The policy framework has been laid, and a global major like Micron is set to begin with packaging, with the potential to expand into fabs within the next four to five years,” Chandrasekhar explained. He also highlighted that the government has engaged with various stakeholders in the semiconductor industry, noting a significant rise in interest from those who had previously been reluctant to invest in India.

Chandrasekhar drew attention to the historical pattern of fabs and packaging units worldwide, where they often proliferate in the regions where they were initially established. He cited examples like Malaysia and Japan, where ATMP hubs evolved over the years due to investments by single companies. “If you examine the history of fabs and packaging units’ development anywhere globally, they usually start with one unit and, unless there are significant disruptions or unfavorable government policies, they almost invariably expand into multi-factory, multi-fab, and multi-packaging unit complexes,” he emphasized.

In a show of support for Micron’s ambitious plans, the Indian government is providing financial assistance amounting to approximately $1.95 billion, raising the total investment for the project to $2.75 billion. Construction of the facility is scheduled to commence later this year, with the first phase of the project slated to become operational by late 2024.

The government has made public its expectation that the first semiconductor chip manufactured in India will be rolled out by December 2024, marking a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards self-sufficiency in semiconductor production.

The second phase of the project, expected to kick off in the latter half of the decade, is set to generate up to 5,000 new direct job opportunities at Micron, in addition to those created during the first phase. As India continues to make strides in the semiconductor industry, Micron’s commitment signals a promising future for the country’s semiconductor assembly and manufacturing capabilities.

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