Belgian research group to assist companies in planning Indian semiconductor units

A Belgian nanoelectronics researcher has agreed to “provide full support for India’s semiconductor journey”, an official from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said on Thursday.

Interuniversity Microelectronics Center, or IMEC, assists global chip manufacturers in semiconductor functional scaling: the process of fitting transistors to a silicon chip.

The MeitY official said IMEC will provide technical assistance to companies setting up semiconductor units in India. “The company is also ready to support the development of talent and research skills in the country,” he said.

A joint venture between Vedanta and Foxconn, IGSS Ventures, Israel’s ISMC, and Rajesh Export’s subsidiary Elest are among companies that have proposed setting up semiconductor units in India. The source said that the ministry will complete the ongoing evaluation of applications for the construction of chip factories by December 2022.

Global semiconductor manufacturers are developing technology to reduce the size of transistors. IMEC aims to reduce the transistor size to less than 1nm. However, the official said that the demand for large and medium-sized process nodes will remain robust in the future. “There will be a huge market for larger process nodes and a major market for medium-sized nodes,” he said.

The MeitY official said more than 65 percent of the semiconductors are used in electric cars, power and telecom equipment. These industries require large and medium-sized nodes that are part of chips. Thus, the market will focus more on chips with nodes larger than 20-25 nanometers.

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