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Business News/ Companies / India’s first semiconductor fab to begin production in 2026
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India’s first semiconductor fab to begin production in 2026

Tata Group’s semiconductor fabrication unit in Assam will be the first of a few approved foundries to begin commercial operations, ending a decades-long wait for India to develop its own fab industry

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union minister for electronics and information technology Ashwini Vaishnaw, Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran and others during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of three semiconductor facilities on 13 March. (PTI)Premium
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union minister for electronics and information technology Ashwini Vaishnaw, Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran and others during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of three semiconductor facilities on 13 March. (PTI)

NEW DELHI : Tata Group aims to begin commercial production from India’s first semiconductor fabrication unit by 2026, an aggressive timeline considering the country’s long wait to become self-reliant in chips that power technology ranging from smartphones to defence systems.

Tata Electronics Pvt. Ltd’s plant in Assam will begin with producing semiconductor chips starting at 28 nanometres, said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, the group’s holding company. 

The plant will start production by late 2025 or early 2026, serving a variety of sectors including automotive, power, electronics, consumer, and medical, he said.

The unit is among a few semiconductor fabrication projects that India has approved, which includes another plant in Dholera, Gujarat by Tata-PSMC, a partnership between Tata Electronics and Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. 

“We have a partner (PSMC) who is very willing and we have assembled a team. So we are looking forward to going live in 2026, and Assam will be done earlier. We may go for commercial production in Assam even in late 2025 or early 2026," Chandrasekaran said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a foundation laying ceremony in Dholera on Wednesday for three semiconductor fabrication units–including the two Tata projects and an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test facility by CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd in partnership with Japan’s Renesas Electronics Corp. 

The total investment for these projects is around 1.25 trillion.

India is separately examining a $11.5 billion semiconductor fab project by Israel’s Tower Semiconductor.

“PSMC has given us access to a wide portfolio of technology. Semicon is the foundational industry for everything digital. We will create more than 50,000 jobs and this is just the beginning," Chandrasekaran said. 

In Assam, the group aims to create 25,000 additional jobs.  

Chandrasekaran said the Assam unit will have the capability to produce multiple chips starting from 28 nanometres, with plans for future advancements to 22 nm.

Semiconductor chip shortages during the global pandemic lockdowns heightened realisation of India’s dependency on international supply chains, the Tata chief said, adding that a domestic semiconductor industry would play a defining role in multiple industries. 

“It is very important for India to become a semiconductor nation," Chandrasekaran said.

Industry experts lauded the Tata Group's plans. 

"With this groundbreaking endeavor, we edge closer to transforming India into a global semiconductor hub, driving innovation, economic growth, and securing our technological sovereignty," said Ashok Chandak, president of the Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association. Tata Electronics and Renesas are members of the association.

Ajai Chowdhry, a co-founder of HCL and a member of the advisory committee of the Indian Semiconductor Mission, said India is rapidly approaching a point where it can begin commercial production of semiconductor products and compete at a global level. 

"Today, India has accomplished a significant milestone that solidifies its position as a prominent participant in the worldwide semiconductor sector. It has been 40 years since our initial conception of this goal," he said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen covers both corporate and economy, and policy sections of Mint. She also covers telecom, IT from the corporate side and disinvestment, finance ministry from the economy side. Gulveen finds the rare mix of sectors she covers to be incredibly interesting.
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Published: 13 Mar 2024, 06:40 PM IST
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