India woos semiconductor makers in quest to become key global player

Qualcomm India plans to initiate and conduct the Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Programme 2022 for select start-ups from the semiconductor space in India
India woos semiconductor makers in quest to become key global player
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Bengaluru: India will provide support for companies looking to invest in semiconductor manufacturing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, as the South Asian nation sets its sights on becoming a key player in the global supply chain for chips.

Even as more firms and countries seek to ensure access to the chips at the core of critical technologies such as 5G, and others of the future, the bulk of the world’s chip output is limited to places such as Taiwan and the United States. “We have shown that India means business, now it is over to you,” Modi told the country’s first semiconductor conference in the southern tech hub of Bengaluru, reiterating his government’s support for the industry. The Indian semiconductor market, worth $15 bn in 2020, is estimated to reach $63 billion by 2026, the government says.

A $10-billion plan to attract semiconductor and display makers has drawn applications from companies such as a joint venture between Indian conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwan’s Foxconn, and Singapore’s IGSS Ventures. Part of the government’s efforts to attract big ticket investments, the three-day meeting has drawn executives of tech giants Intel, TSMC and Micron Technology Inc. In the race to become India’s first chip maker, Vedanta is seeking incentives such as 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of free land, as part of its $20-billion foray into semiconductors and displays.

Qualcomm, MeitY partner to aid semiconductor startups

With an aim to empower homegrown semiconductor start-ups, chipmaker Qualcomm India will collaborate with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a statement said. The collaboration will support a group of promising semiconductor design start-ups, as a part of the government and the industry’s ongoing efforts to encourage innovation in the semiconductor space in India.“There is a huge opportunity for Indian semiconductor start-ups due to the incentives provided by the Government,” Rajen Vagadia, VP and President of Qualcomm India & SAARC, said.

“Qualcomm India is committed to helping semiconductor design start-ups capitalise on India’s design and engineering talent to drive innovations that will power the intelligent, connected future we foresee, not only for India but the world,” he added.

Qualcomm India plans to initiate and conduct the Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Programme 2022 for select start-ups from the semiconductor space in India, with intent to provide and facilitate mentorship, technical training, and industry outreach.

Under this collaboration, C-DAC and Qualcomm India intend to work towards nurturing technical advancements and intellectual-property-driven innovation and product development required for semiconductor design in the Indian ecosystem.

It is also planning to work towards help reduce risks in innovation, accelerate the pace of business development, and develop soft skills and knowledge base of Indian start-ups engaged in semiconductor design.

Qualcomm India will shortlist up to 10 Indian semiconductor start-ups. Each shortlisted startup will be paired with a Qualcomm India leader for mentorship on product planning and development. The startup and the mentor will meet periodically either in person or through online meetings.

“The semiconductor industry is crucial for the growth of many other industries. We encourage Indian start-ups to come forward and meet the current and projected domestic demand for semiconductors with the support of Government-led programmes such as ‘Make in India’ and the Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme,” said E. Magesh, Director-General C-DAC.

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