ICEA Urges Govt to Boost National Semiconductor Design Expertise


ICEA, India's cellular and electronics association, has called upon the government to prioritize domestic capabilities in semiconductor design and manufacturing, advocating for its recognition as a strategic sector. This initiative aims to facilitate access to affordable funds for the sector via a specialized capital market system tailored for electronics and high-tech industries.

Representing Apple, Foxconn, Lava, and other Chinese handset companies, the association also proposed government investment in current fabrication plants (fabs) to enhance domestic production capacity. Additionally, it called for the establishment of mechanisms to support emerging semiconductor design firms and cultivate a skilled semiconductor workforce, crucial actions in the journey toward establishing a self-sufficient semiconductor ecosystem.

ICEA presented a multifaceted strategy to reshape India's position in the global chip supply chain, addressing persistent shortages and geopolitical challenges in the sector. Emphasizing the establishment of a resilient ecosystem, ICEA advocates for initiatives to support emerging semiconductor design firms and initiatives aimed at developing a proficient workforce. These efforts dovetail with India's broader agenda of achieving self-sufficiency in crucial sectors.

The report from ICEA underscores the imperative of establishing a comprehensive design ecosystem. The association advocates for the active involvement of leading Indian companies and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in semiconductor design and the creation of core intellectual property (IP). In order to stimulate domestic production, ICEA suggests the incorporation of mask sets, essential for chip design, into the government's current Design-Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme.

They also advocate strengthening domestic intellectual property by subsidizing the cost of mask sets for Indian design firms by up to 80 percent. “India stands at a pivotal juncture to redefine its role in the global semiconductor value chain as we navigate a transformative era in electronics manufacturing”, said ICEA chairman Pankaj Mohindroo.