Rajasthan-based Sahasra Semiconductor will start the commercial production of first made-in-India memory chips from September or early October, its CEO Varun Manwani told FE. This means Sahasra will be the first company to produce chips in India before Micron.
The company has set up its semiconductor assembly, test and packaging unit in Bhiwadi district from where it will initially package basic memory products like MicroSD cards, chip-on-board, etc, and will later move on to advanced packaging of products like internal memory chips.
Sahasra is currently part of the Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), under which it is eligible for a 25 per cent financial incentive on capital expenditure.
Unlike Micron that produces its own chips, Sahasra is more an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company, which means it assembles and packages chips for other brands.
“We will be the first Indian semiconductor company to start the production of chips. We actually did some trial production in March and the commercial production will start sometime in September or early October,” Manwani said, adding that the company gets orders from small- and medium-sized companies to make chips for them, and is also looking at export opportunities.
The company will invest `600 crore over five to six years for chip production and setting up infrastructure around it. Till now, Sahasra has invested close to `110 crore to start the first phase of assembly and packaging of chips.
“Now, all phones and devices come with internal memory, which means the chip is inside. That is likely more advanced packaging, which we will tap in the next year-and-a-half. We are starting with basic packaging of chips first,” Manwani added.
Besides the assembly of chips, the company is currently designing its own LED driver ICs, which is its internal intellectual property. Sahasra is also looking to apply under the semiconductor incentive scheme, where the government will bear 50 per cent of the project cost.