Electronic System Design and Manufacturing Sector – M-SIPS, National Policy on Electronics, etc.

What is the technology behind manufacturing a semiconductor chip?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Science and Technology; Semiconductor, wafer and Transistor;

Mains level: India’s semiconductor ecosystem;

Why in the News? 

The Union Cabinet has sanctioned the setup of three semiconductor facilities as part of the initiative to develop semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystems in the country. One is in Assam and the other two are in Gujarat.

Need for Semiconductor hub in India:

  • Right now, only a few countries in the world make computer chips. Due to the issues like COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions between countries, it’s become clear that we need more countries to manufacture these chips instead of Depending on the single country (Taiwan issue).
  • For example, the TATA Group, working with a company from Taiwan called Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC), is building a factory in Gujarat to make chips.


What is a Semiconductor chip? How is it manufactured?

It is a tiny electronic device made of semiconductor material (usually silicon or germanium) that serves as the basic building block of most electronic circuits. These chips can perform various functions, such as processing data, storing information, or controlling electronic devices.

What is a transistor?

A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is a fundamental building block of modern electronic devices and circuits. Transistors can be thought of as electronic switches that can be turned on or off, or can be used to amplify electrical signals.

What is fabrication technology?

Fabrication technology, often referred to as semiconductor fabrication technology or semiconductor manufacturing, is the process of creating electronic devices and integrated circuits (ICs) on semiconductor materials such as silicon. It involves a series of complex steps to build electronic components, including transistors, diodes, and resistors, as well as connecting them to create functional electronic circuits.

What is known as a wafer?

A wafer refers to a thin, flat slice of semiconductor material, typically made of silicon. Silicon wafers are the primary substrate used in the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs) and other semiconductor devices.


Efforts made by the Indian Government to build Semiconductor Ecosystem:

  • India Semiconductor Mission (ISM): The Indian government is actively promoting semiconductor industry growth through initiatives and incentives, including the establishment of the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) and a significant financial package to boost semiconductor and display manufacturing.
  • Effort to boost Domestic manufacturing: India is also working to attract international investments to bolster domestic manufacturing. An example of this is Micron Technology’s planned Assembly, Test, Mark, and Pack (ATMP) facility in Gujarat, with a total investment of $2.75 billion, set to produce the first “Made in India” chip by the end of 2024
  • International Partnership: The US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) have decided to establish a partnership, with the US presently having a ‘Chip 4’ alliance with the world’s top semiconductor makers – Taiwan, Japan

Conclusion: India’s semiconductor ecosystem is proliferating, backed by government initiatives like the India Semiconductor Mission and partnerships with global players. Efforts to boost domestic manufacturing and international collaborations signify India’s emergence as a key player in the semiconductor industry.

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