Hope the proposal of ISMC under the semiconductor scheme of the government will be approved: Karnataka IT Minister

The Karnataka government is confident that the International Semiconductor Consortium (ISMC) will be one of the approved applicants under the government’s plan for semiconductors announced in December 2021. Dr. Ashwath Narayan CN, Minister of Electronics, IT and BT, Government of Karnataka, in an exclusive interview with Business Today said, “It is worth noting that only two companies will have the opportunity to get benefits (as per the policy). We Hopefully Tower Semiconductor will be given that opportunity.”

ISMC is a proposal by Abu Dhabi-based NextOrbit Ventures in partnership with Tower Semiconductor (an Israel-based foundry of high-value analog semiconductor solutions, which Intel will acquire for $5.4 billion). ISMC was the first to shortlist Karnataka with a planned investment of Rs 23,000 crore to set up a semiconductor fab in India. The project is expected to generate over 1,500 direct and 10,000 indirect employment opportunities. For the same, a land parcel has been identified in Mysuru for setting up a semiconductor facility.

Karnataka has already struck a deal and issued a government order. Claiming that state incentives are also as good as Indian government incentives, Dr Narayan CN further said, “We (Karnataka) have tied up with people who have technical know-how. We just can’t tie up with people who are not in that area. So very clearly, we went with the right partner who has the domain expertise, who are in it and were manufacturing semiconductors.

Semiconductor veteran and analyst Arun Mampazhi had earlier told Business Today, “Out of the existing proposals received, for silicon fabs, from information available in the public domain, ISMC’s 65 nm (nanometer) looks the most promising – technology wise. For 50 percent fab-fil offer from Hee Tower Semiconductor. As per market studies, they have good resources to do feasibility of land and infrastructure proposals from state government. I believe they have defense public There is also a consortium as a partner with undertakings and some reputed private industries which can also be future customers.Govt should fast track the proposal of ISMC.

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It is expected that ISMC will be one of the accepted applicants, Dr Narayan CN while sharing the timeline said that the entire construction process will take three to four years.

Apart from chip fabs, a growing number of companies are considering setting up assembly, testing, marking and packaging (ATMP) plants in the country. US-headquartered Micron Technology is exploring a location for the facility and is rumored to be in talks with Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Sahasra Semiconductors will be engaged in setting up a testing and packing unit at Bhiwadi, Rajasthan with a total investment of Rs 750 crore. Even the state of Karnataka is in talks with several companies for the same. “We are meeting in huge numbers. Many companies have come forward with OSAT – Outsource Assembly and Test and ATMP (Plan). We are working with them and many proposals have already come. The Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (KESDM) policy of Karnataka is also very encouraging and positive. We are working aggressively in many of these areas and trying to boost our ESDM policy as the policy incentives we are giving are the best in the whole country.

With regard to KESDM policy and manufacturing of batteries, Karnataka has received a lot of proposals and a lot of proposals have already been approved. Battery maker Exide, among the top three companies, will invest Rs 6,000 crore to set up a lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in Karnataka. The state has also approved a subsidiary of Hyundai Company to manufacture the battery among other proposals.

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