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Business News/ Companies / News/  CDIL to make silicon carbide devices for EVs, solar panels
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CDIL to make silicon carbide devices for EVs, solar panels

CDIL will be the first such company in India to make silicon carbide devices in its expanded facility in Mohali

Prithvideep Singh, general manager, CDIL Semiconductors.Premium
Prithvideep Singh, general manager, CDIL Semiconductors.

Mohali: India's oldest semiconductor assembly and packaging company Continental Device India Pvt. Ltd (CDIL) has started production of silicon carbide devices through surface mount technology from its manufacturing facility in Mohali. The facility will supply to makers of electric vehicles, power management devices and solar panels.

CDIL will be the first such company in India to make silicon carbide devices, its management said, while inaugurating its expanded facility. The unit will make 100 million devices a year, with an investment of 30 crore, taking the total production scale to 600 million devices.

CDIL started making silicon chips and devices in 1964 in collaboration with Continental Device Corp. of Hawthorne, California, which was later called Teledyne Semiconductor Co.

CDIL’s general manager Prithvideep Singh said that CDIL spent R&D efforts pursuing silicon carbide since it was an emerging technology. Silicon carbide allows for much-improved efficiencies and power-handling capabilities, especially in high-power charging applications and battery management systems, which can therefore be scaled to make auto-grade devices for local as well as global markets.

Till 2015, it exported 70% of what it made in India to countries like the US, the UK, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, South Africa and Egypt. However, due to the rising local production of electronics since 2016, CDIL’s share of local consumption has risen to about 65% of what it produces today.

Chief operating officer Pankaj Gulati said that CDIL had created the only facility in the country that does dicing or ultra-high precision cutting of semiconductor wafers and is catering to inquiries solely from the US, Europe and China.

CDIL also signed a MoU with the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), a research institute in Mohali under MeitY, undertaking research and development in the field of semiconductor technology. Both parties will aim to establish a comprehensive framework wherein SCL's specialised knowledge and wafer fabrication facilities are utilised to produce indigenised wafers for discrete semiconductor devices, using proprietary manufacturing processes.

“This collaborative effort is aimed as a significant stride towards advancing India's semiconductor ambitions in fostering a stronger, self-reliant industry in the region," Singh said.

The government will spend more than $2 billion in modernising SCL such that it can be commercialised. The government said that CDIL should consider setting up a discrete semiconductor fabrication unit in India as well, considering that the company had such a unit prior to 2008 when it pivoted to being a fabless semiconductor design unit.

“I hope CDIL will also consider setting up a discrete fab in the country by availing financial support under the Semicon India programme in future. As CDIL and SCL join hands for knowledge exchange, India can look forward to more indigenous chip manufacturing and packaging for India and the world in the upcoming future," said Amitesh Kumar Sinha, joint secretary at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

The official added that the government’s objective was to make SCL an R&D hub for developing the semiconductor ecosystem in the country.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Updated: 28 Sep 2023, 09:23 PM IST
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