Business Standard

India's talent pool, govt policies make it unique for semiconductor bets

In its first five years of operations, the centre is expected to create at least 500 advanced engineering jobs, along with another 2,500 in the manufacturing ecosystem

India is offering incentives to companies for building a local chip industry. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The new centre in Bengaluru is expected to be the first of its kind that will be focused on working together with the suppliers

Sourabh Lele Gandhinagar

Listen to This Article

India’s talent and the government policies to provide a favourable environment have made the country an attractive location for the semiconductor ecosystem, said Prabu Raja, president, Semiconductor Products Group (SPG), Applied Materials.

The US-based company, which provides materials engineering solutions for chip manufacturing, last month announced plans to build a collaborative engineering centre in Bangalore, focused on developing and commercialising technologies for semiconductor-manufacturing equipment.

In its first five years of operations, the centre is expected to create at least 500 advanced engineering jobs, along with another 2,500 in the manufacturing ecosystem.

“We are here for 20 years. We built the capabilities for product development, engineering, and simulation for many years. It’s more of a rising confidence in our capability. The government incentives have accelerated and made the scale much larger,” Raja told Business Standard on the sidelines of the SemiconIndia summit, 2023.

Applied Materials has announced it is engaging with more than 40 suppliers and academic institutions as part of its planned engineering centre in Bengaluru. The centre will be designed to provide access to advanced equipment and processes for suppliers to test and validate their solutions while creating opportunities to co-innovate, develop, and test equipment subsystems and components to accelerate cycles of learning and speed up adopting new concepts.

“We are building the whole ecosystem for India. These are high-tech suppliers. They provide a lot of plasma and material technologies, gas flows -- extremely critical ones. Bringing those guys is unique,” Raja said.

The centre in Bengaluru is expected to be the first of its kind that will be focused on working with suppliers.

Raja said though the company had strong teams in multiple countries, the talent pool in India made it unique.

“Everyone recognises there is a talent shortage in engineering. (But) India has plenty of skilled people. That is one of the most attractive things about India,” he said, adding “the government is consistent and open to changing its policies to accommodate what the industry needs. The government is listening to the industry.”

Applied Materials operates in six sites of India and has a large organisation of product development, research and development (R&D), IT and operations capabilities in the country.

When asked about expansion plans in the country, Raja said: “If we get more customers here, we will expand. On top of this, we are talking about product development. Cost and speed are important things that will play a major role. Depending on that we will scale.”

Srinivas Satya, country president, Applied Materials India, said: “Our objective is to change the way we engage with chipmakers, universities, and other partners to enhance time to market, reduce R&D costs and increase the overall success rate of new technologies. Simultaneously, the centre will provide guidance and technical expertise to semiconductor companies, assisting them in developing high-quality, cost-effective semiconductor products that cater to global and domestic markets while generating employment opportunities across various skill levels.”

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Jul 28 2023 | 9:55 PM IST

Explore News