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India-Taiwan tech collaboration

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The past few months have seen tremendous strides in
India’s journey to develop a vibrant semiconductor and
electronics ecosystem. The nation’s established prowess
in information technology (IT) has earned it much-needed
revenue and prestige across the globe.


Now, through the convergence of engineering talent,
supportive government policies, an expanding market
and technologically adaptive entrepreneurship, India is
striving to become part of global electronics and
semiconductor supply chains.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vision of “Make in
India” and “Design in India” has been the guiding force
behind the government’s incentive schemes that span
skilling, design, fabrication, assembly, testing and
packaging, and even tooling and logistics for
semiconductors and electronics, reflecting a
comprehensive strategy to bolster domestic
manufacturing and innovation.


The US$10 billion “India Semiconductor Mission”
provides up to 50 percent of the project costs as fiscal
support for semiconductor, display fabs and ATMP/OSAT
projects. Additionally, state governments like Gujarat
contribute an extra 20 percent toward project costs.
Leveraging these incentives, Micron Technology in June

last year announced a new US$2.75 billion assembly and
testing facility (ATMP).
In February, the Indian government greenlit another three
semiconductor projects, including a semiconductor fab to
be developed by Tata Electronics Private Ltd and
Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp of Taiwan,
starting with a capacity of 50,000 wafer starts per month
and costs more than US$10 billion. For these projects,
construction and operationalization are being facilitated
and accelerated through a “whole of government”
approach.


Understanding the demand dynamics of India’s
electronics manufacturing transformation is equally
crucial. India’s manufacturing industry is projected to
become a US$1 trillion market by next year and US$7.5
trillion by 2047, data compiled by Ernst and Young
showed.


The expansion of India’s manufacturing market is
propelled by key macro trends, including the
telecommunications sector, where India stands as one of
the largest markets for mobile phones and Internet usage,
including 5G data. Additionally, the automobile sector,
particularly electric vehicles, the Internet of Things,
defense and the aerospace industry are significant
contributors to this growth trajectory.


India’s “Digital Revolution,” fueled by digital public goods
like Unified Payments Interface, Aadhar and “India Stack,”
have revolutionized and democratized payments, identity
verification and many aspects of governance. This
software stack creates a need for a corresponding
hardware stack, driving demand for enhanced
manufacturing capabilities.


Experts identify “talent scarcity” as a key challenge for
global chipmakers, yet India’s demographic dividend,
marked by its young and technically proficient population,
positions it uniquely to overcome this hurdle.

India boasts a highly skilled talent pool with 20 percent of
the world’s semiconductor design engineers designing
more than 2,000 chips annually. Key industry giants like
Intel, Samsung, Micron, AMD, Qualcomm and Mediatek
already have significant operations in the country.


Equally impressive is India’s burgeoning ecosystem of
start-ups and research labs, particularly under the “Digital
India RISC-V” program, which fosters an Open-Source
ecosystem that spurs innovation and competition while
reducing cost barriers.

This has propelled start-ups such
as “InCore Semiconductors” to develop advanced RISC-V
processors building on the success of the famed
indigenously designed SHAKTI microprocessor. Similarly,
another start-up “Saankhya Labs” stands out for its
pioneering work in developing indigenous 5G chipsets
and software-defined radio solutions.


Furthermore, the Indian government has earmarked
semiconductor and electronics talent development as a
top priority. Under the “India Semiconductor Mission,” the
government has partnered with 104 universities and
institutions nationwide to revamp their semiconductor
curricula and create specialized courses.

This effort
extends to partnerships with top global institutions like
Purdue University for joint research centers and dualdegree programs. Also noteworthy is the fact that more
than 15 Taiwanese universities have teamed up with
Indian universities for academic collaboration and
partnerships.


The respect for Taiwanese enterprises in India is well
illustrated by the awarding of the Padma Bhushan, one of
India’s most prestigious civilian honors, to Foxconn
chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉). Taiwanese firms have been
at the forefront of benefitting from Indian government
programs like the “Production Linked Incentive Scheme.”
It is often said that IT has become a symbol of the IndiaTaiwan relationship, underscoring their economic
complementarities. Both economies boast of substantial

synergies ripe for development, particularly timely in the
current geoeconomic landscape. For instance, the
innovation and talent of Indian design houses can be
realized through the excellent fabrication and
manufacturing capabilities of Taiwan, thereby bringing
benefits to both these innovative societies.
Thus, in this Techade, India and Taiwan must use their
shared values of democracy and pluralism, and leverage
synergies to fully harness the new age technologies for a
safe, secure and prosperous future.

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