Leading U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology is in advanced stage of closing a deal to invest $10 billion for setting up an assembly, testing, marking and packaging (ATMP) facility in India, Business Standard reported.
“Yes, we are close to approving the proposal,” Business Standard quoted a top government official as saying.
In response to earlier media reports on setting up ATMP facility in India, a spokesperson for Micron said: “Micron continues to evaluate opportunities for potential future assembly and test project options needed to meet long-term memory demand. We have not made any decisions regarding the timing or scope of any expansion plans.”
Micron currently has global manufacturing footprint and R&D network that spans 13 countries. It operates manufacturing facilities in U.S., Taiwan, Japan and Singapore, and it operates chip packing facilities in China and Malaysia.
Taiwan serves as the production hub for Micron as the memory chip supplier at present operates A1 and A2 plants with a back-end packaging and testing site in Taoyuan City.
Micron Technology is among handful of semiconductor manufacturers with the capability to produce DRAM (Dynamic random access memory, a specific type of RAM chips). It holds 23% global market share. Samsung is dominant player with 41.7% share and is followed by SK Hynix Inc. (30%).
Micron Technology also holds around 12% market share in NAND flash memory technologies.
Both DRAM and flash memory chips are essential to smartphones, data centers, computers, cars and myriad other items.
Memory and storage forms significant portion of the global semiconductor industry, and represents approximately 30% of the $460 billion semiconductor industry
$150 Billion Investment Plan To Build New Fabs
In October 2021, Micron announced that it plans to invest more than $150 billion globally over the next decade in cutting-edge memory chip manufacturing and research and development (R&D), including fab expansion plans in U.S.
"Memory is at the leading edge of semiconductor manufacturing and fuels everything from feature-rich 5G smartphones to the AI-enabled cloud," Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said while unveiling the company's capex plans.
Micron has however has faced headwinds recently with fall in average selling prices for memories. Micron has curtailed its output and is looking to lay off 10 percent of its staff during 2023
India's Semiconductor Ambitions
Under the India Semiconductor Mission, the government has announced it will extend a fiscal support of 50% of the capital expenditure on pari-passu basis for setting up of compound semiconductors / Silicon Photonics (SiPh) / sensors (including MEMS) fab, discrete semiconductor fabs and semiconductor ATMP / OSAT (Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly) facilities in India.
In its quest to achieve a certain degree of self-sufficiency in semiconductor manufacturing, India is hoping to establish both commercial chip fabrication industries (fabs) as well as chip packaging industries (OSAT/ATMP).
Even though of relatively lesser value add compared to fabs, OSAT/ATMP units requires lower investment and can be operationalised quickly.
Unlike a full-fledged fab, which requires a design company to give them orders, ATMP players, which make their own wafers, can sell directly to customers.
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