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    Tata Electronics prepares ground for high-end chips


    Source-The Financial Express

    After the recent groundbreaking of its Rs 91,000-crore semiconductor fabrication plant, Tata group, along with its technology partner Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC), has started work on producing the high-end chip technology of 14 nanometer (nm).

    Sources said that the company has provided the same as part of its business plan to the government.

    The 14 nm are much more advanced chips, and will be in addition to the 28 nm nodes which Tata Electronics and PSMC plan to manufacture at their fabrication unit, which is coming up at Dholera, Gujarat.

    The 14 nm chip technology can be fitted in very small components, making them more energy efficient, powerful and faster in performance. Sources said that scaling up from 28 nm to 14 nm will open up huge order book for Tata Electronics, as companies constantly look for advanced chips to improve their products such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, electric vehicles, among others.Tata Electronics did not comment on the development.

    For the 28 nm chips, the company has already got advance orders up to its capacity level, sources said. “At present, 28-90 nm chips have a 50% market share. But based on the trend globally, it is crucial to progress towards advanced nodes as well,” sources said, adding that in assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) also, the companies are developing indigenous technologies.

    Tata’s upcoming fab in Dholera will have a capacity of 50,000 wafers per month, and produce 3 billion chips every year. The chips from the plant will cater to industries like high-performance computing, electric vehicles, defence and consumer electronics, among other things. The fab plant will serve both the commercial as well as strategic sectors.

    The first chip from the plant is expected to come out by 2026 end.

    “Typically, a fab takes about four years. Our goal is to produce chips in the calendar year 2026. Hopefully, in the latter part of the year,” N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, had said at the ground breaking ceremony of the semiconductor projects.

    Besides the fabrication unit, Tata Group is also investing Rs 27,000 crore in an ATMP project in Assam.

    “Assam may be done earlier. We may go for commercial production in Assam either by late 2025 or early 2026,” Chandrasekaran had said.

    The company’s fab unit in Dholera is expected to generate around 50,000 jobs, while another 20,000-22,000 jobs will come up at the Assam unit.

    In February, the Union Cabinet had approved semiconductor projects worth Rs 1.26 trillion under the Rs 76,000 crore semiconductor incentive scheme. Besides two projects of Tata group, the third project which was approved is of CG Power’s. It’s a Rs 7,600 crore ATMP unit in partnership with Japan-based Renesas Electronics and Thailand’s Stars Microelectronics.

    As per government’s estimate, the chip projects approved will generate direct employment of 20,000 advanced technology jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs.

    Tower Semiconductor’s $11-billion chip project, and an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) unit by Kaynes Technology, are currently being vetted by the government.