You are currently viewing Mission Semicon | How ATMP Route Will Help India Achieve Fab Success in Chip Manufacturing Ecosystem – News18

Mission Semicon | How ATMP Route Will Help India Achieve Fab Success in Chip Manufacturing Ecosystem – News18

With India taking a technological leap by kick-starting the semi-conductor ecosystem, setting up of Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) facilities will be its main focus in the coming years.

Although ATMP plants are not full-fledged fabrication units, they will be instrumental in catalysing the nation’s technological self-sufficiency ambitions.

An official in the ministry of IT said: “In terms of the semiconductor ecosystem, China holds a 38% share of the global market for packaging and India will follow the ATMP path to achieve fab success. The proper method to go is to use this stage as the beginning point because it is a crucial one.”

Those with knowledge of how this ecosystem works said while building full-scale fabrication facilities requires substantial investment, time, and technological expertise, ATMP plants offer a pragmatic starting point.

TR Shashwath, co-founder of Mindgrove Tech, told News18 that India first needs ATMP plants, such as the one announced by US chip-maker Micron Technology, which will be set up in Gujarat.

He said: “Since such plants take finished semiconductor dies and work on them, there is also no real generational limit on this – we can have the most advanced ATMPs in India. Fabrication plants (fabs) will come last.”

“It is because they are the most complex to set up. Older technology nodes will be set up first – 180nm, 130nm, etc, and after that newer technology fabs (28nm, 7nm, 5nm, etc) will be set up. These are extremely hard to set up and costly to run. So, we need time to get there,” he added.

ATMP plants focus on the latter stages of semiconductor production, involving assembly, testing, marking, and packaging of integrated circuits. While these steps might not involve the intricate process of creating semiconductor wafers, they are indispensable in transforming semiconductor components into functional devices ready for integration into electronic products.

By initiating domestic assembly, testing, and packaging processes, India can reduce its dependence on global supply chains, ensuring a consistent and secure supply of essential semiconductor components. This resilience becomes crucial during times of global disruptions, as seen during the recent chip shortage at the peak of the pandemic.

Semiconductor industry experts believe that ATMP plants not only address immediate supply chain challenges but also foster an ecosystem of innovation. They provide a platform for collaboration between local players, research institutions, and technology companies.

This collaborative environment is conducive to knowledge sharing, skill development, and the creation of indigenous technologies that can potentially lead to breakthroughs in semiconductor manufacturing. Additionally, the presence of ATMP plants promotes skill development, as technicians and engineers gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge semiconductor technologies.

In other words, ATMP plants can lay the foundation for the development of a holistic semiconductor ecosystem in India. As these facilities evolve and mature, they can serve as a stepping stone towards establishing full-fledged fabs. The knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure gained from ATMP operations can significantly ease the transition to more complex semiconductor manufacturing processes in the future.

Furthermore, the presence of ATMP plants not only attracts investments from global semiconductor companies but also nurtures indigenous start-ups in the semiconductor domain. The supportive ecosystem created by these plants can encourage start-ups to develop innovative solutions and products that cater to both domestic and international markets.

So, it needs to be understood that with innovation, job creation, and resilience at its core, the ATMP plants hold the promise of shaping India’s semiconductor landscape in the years to come.

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