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Semiconductor Industry in India

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Semiconductor Industry in India

June, 2013


Semiconductors are the backbone of microelectronic industry. This industry is expanding very fast and its development is related to new materials and devices. Millions of the scientists all over the world are engaged in the advance research work in the field of semiconductors. In India also several research groups at Universities, Engineering Institutes, Defense Research Laboratories and National Laboratories are actively engaged in developing semiconductors and devices.

India has become the hub for semiconductor design with nearly 2,000 chips being designed per year and more than 20, 000 engineers are working in various aspects of chip design and verification. Today, the semiconductor industry of India represents every aspect of the semiconductor lifecycle, from cutting-edge electronic design automation (EDA) and very large scale integration (VLSI) design companies to an evolving manufacturing eco-system. The ESDM industry of India has grown into a prominent player in the past couple of decades and has been a vital contributor to the nation’s economy. The growth drivers for electronics manufacturing in India are wireless handsets, communications, and information technology (IT) and office automation.

Market Size

India's electronics design and manufacturing industry is growing faster than the world average for the simple reason of catching up speed with the huge local demand of electronics products. Lot of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are going for local manufacturing to serve the local demand as well as other global markets. India’s semiconductor consumption has reached US$ 8 billion in 2012, a 7.4 per cent increase from 2011. It is expected to reach US$ 9.6 billion in 2013, according to a report by Gartner

The electronics systems design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector of India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9 per cent between 2011 and 2015 to touch US$ 94.2 billion, according to a report by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) and Frost & Sullivan.

Electronics sales in India are expected to reach US$ 400 billion by 2020. At present, local manufacturing accounts for about 40 per cent of consumption and it could increase to 80 per cent by 2020. Many global OEMs including Samsung, LG, Nokia, Toyota, Hyundai, etc. have set up their manufacturing facilities in India, according to India Semiconductor Association (ISA).


The electronics sector attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth Rs 5,466.74 crore (US$ 920.20 million) during April 2000 to March 2013, according to the data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India.

Some of the major investments in Indian semiconductor industry include:

  • Arasan Chip Systems Inc has increased its International support through a partnership with FTD Automation Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru, India. FTD Automation will provide Sales support for Arasan in India, while serving as point of contact for all customers in this region
  • Atrenta Inc has opened a research and development (R&D) facility in Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP). The new facility houses Atrenta's current staff and meets near-term growth requirements, keeping pace with the company's global expansion plan
  • Cadence Design Systems has acquired Cosmic Circuits Private Limited, a Bengaluru-based analog and mixed signal intellectual property (IP) cores provider
  • Forte Design Systems has partnered with CircuitSutra to provide VLSI design services throughout India. Forte and CircuitSutra will co-develop ARM AMBA AXI and OCP-IP models compatible with Forte's Cynthesizer SystemC high-level synthesis (HLS)
  • US-based Texas Instruments (TI) has launched a centre of excellence at Netaji Subash Institute of Technology (NSIT), New Delhi. This is the first centre for embedded product development that TI is setting up in any educational institution in India

Government of India

The Government of India has initiated several initiatives for the development of electronics sector in the country. It has recently approved National Policy on Electronics (NPE). The main objective of the policy is to achieve revenue of about US$ 400 billion by 2020 with an investment worth US$ 100 billion and employment to around 28 million by 2020. The NPE aims at achieving a turnover of US$ 55 billion of chip design and embedded software industry, US$ 80 billion of exports in the sector. The Government of India also plans to set up over 200 electronic manufacturing clusters.

Some of the initiatives taken by the Government for boosting the semiconductor industry of India are:

  • The Government of India has raised its investment target in the electronics sector to US$ 5 billion for FY 2013-14
  • The Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) is setting up 3 electronic manufacturing clusters (EMCs)—two near Hyderabad and one near Vishakhapatnam
  • It has also notified 12 Brownfield clusters in AP, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Puducherry, Punjab, UP and West Bengal (WB)
  • Under the Union Budget 2013-14, the Government of India has announced that companies investing Rs 100 crore (US$ 16.83 million) or more in plant and machinery during the period Apri 1, 2013 to March 31, 2015 will be entitled to deduct an investment allowance of 15 per cent of the investment. Most of investment in high tech manufacturing benefit from this due to heavy investment required in fabrication (fab)
  • Duty on Set Top Boxes increased from 5 to 10 per cent. It will promote manufacturing of local set top boxes
  • Duty on mobile phones priced at more than Rs 2000 (US$ 33.66) raised to 6 per cent to promote manufacturing of smart phones in India

Road Ahead

Huge manufacturing infrastructure is coming up in many states in the form of clusters. The Government of India is actively involved in training and funding talents in electronics and semiconductor industry.

India continues to be an emerging market both for low cost electronics devices and high-end expensive gadgets. Multi-national companies (MNCs) are investing more and more in India by expanding or opening new offices on back of the initiatives taken by the Government.

India has a competitive advantage over other countries because of its large engineering skill pool. It offers a large pool of a technically and scientifically-skilled English-speaking workforce. At the same time, the country has ample semiconductor design talent at competitive costs.

The future on the Indian semiconductor design companies will arise with the emergence of fabless design companies from India. These companies would be focusing on creating products for the Indian market. India can take the lead in electronic systems design and electronic product manufacturing. The absence of systems or a legacy creates for India, the unique opportunity to leapfrog technology.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0168 as on June 28, 2012

References:Media reports, India Semiconductor Association, Ministry of Information Technology, Press Releases