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Modernisation of SCL fab plant likely at Rs 20,000-cr outlay

Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024
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The government’s modernisation plan for the Mohali-based Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) will require an investment of Rs 20,000 crore for a new fabrication (fab, or foundry) plant with a capacity of 20,000 wafers per month.

The plan drawn up by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity), also envisions diversifying from high nodes of 180 nanometres (nm), which have limited uses, towards 28 nm and further down to 14 nm. The objective is to establish a research and development (R&D)/prototype centre of excellence with 300-millimetre wafer processing. With the government’s semiconductor mission, SCL looks to regain its pioneering status in semiconductor manufacturing, and would establish a self-reliant chip ecosystem in India.

SCL has two fabrication lines, for six inch and eight inch wafers, an ATMP unit, and a compound semiconductor unit. For building the new fab unit, SCL is scouting for land near its existing facility. Communications and IT Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw had said that SCL will be at par with global standards will support startups and industry for R&D and prototyping, as well as increase its capacity and strength for chip exports.

SCL has been serving strategic sectors like space, railways, and telecom, among others by supplying them 180 nm chips. Once it starts with 28 nm technology, the target is to increase its capacity to 24,000 wafers per month. The organisation currently makes charge-coupled devices (CCDs), and image sensors for ISRO.

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