back to article India won't become a semiconductor superpower anytime soon, says think tank

India's drive to become a semiconductor superpower is likely to result in the creation of just five chip fabs by the year 2029, and the most sophisticated output from those facilities will be chips built on a 28nm process, according to US think tank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). That …

  1. PhilipN Silver badge

    ITIF

    Worth looking up every "think tank" and its "About" page -

    https://itif.org/about/

    and being particularly circumspect at every such organisation which describes itself as :

    "independent ... nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute"

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: ITIF

      Yawn. Vague accusation with no supporting argument. Critical thinking is, of course, necessary, and cynicism has something to recommend it; but a comment like that adds nothing of value.

      (I didn't downvote, JFTR.)

      ("circumspect at"? Odd choice of preposition.)

  2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    The same can be said of most attempts to achieve SotA chip-manufacturing capability

    The "Silicon" section of Conway's Material World is instructive. Here in the industry it's widely known that the most advanced semiconductor process nodes require EUV, and the only publicly-known source of the necessary equipment is ASML. ASML's systems are expensive (obviously), large, complicated (to make and to use), in demand (it's not like they have a warehouse full of them, shrink-wrapped and ready to ship), and under various sorts of political pressure to keep them out of the hands of organizations the USA and others deem unfriendly.

    But as Conway shows, ASML is only part of the picture. Those chips also require extremely pure and regular silicon wafers. There's only one firm in the world publicly known to be capable of producing them; it's a Japanese corporation, but it manufactures the wafers in the US, in a highly-refined variant of the Czochralski process that's shrouded in secrecy. They require as a particular type of very high-grade silicon feedstock, and there are only two mines currently publicly known to produce that, and they are also both in the US. Most of the expertise for actually using EUV to produce viable units on those wafers is locked up by TSMC and Samsung. And so on.

    If India, or China, or anyone else is capable of producing those silicon wafers, they've been keeping it very quiet. And, sure, China at least has almost certainly been working on obtaining the necessary expertise, through all the time-honored methods used by various political powers throughout history. But it's a big, big job.

    While a large amount of money is necessary to produce recent-process-node fabs, it's by no means sufficient.

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