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集微访谈 | Marmik Bhatt:起点低、投资差,印度半导体会拥有怎样的未来?

来源:爱集微

#集微访谈#

#印度#

#半导体#

2022-12-02

集微网消息,在往期的集微访谈栏目中,爱集微有幸采访了Efabless在印度、中东和东南亚的Chiplgnite代表Marmik Bhatt。关于印度半导体,包括iPhone14在印度生产的传闻、厂家来印度建造晶圆厂所遭遇的机遇与挑战等方面提出了一系列问题,并收到了十分有启发的答复。

Q:我们的话题可能集中在两个方面。所以我的第一个问题是,印度想在半导体制造价值链上更进一步。所以你能分析一下印度政府的一系列无回应的结果与这一野心相匹配吗?

A:印度在半导体技术进步方面有点落后。我们面临着芯片短缺的严重问题。所有其它国家都面临芯片短缺,但印度情况最严重。疫情期间来自欧洲、中国或美国的芯片量在减少,在此之前,芯片短缺已经开始。因此,最近政府认为,我们应该在印度建立一个制造工厂,未来会有更好的电子设备。

基本上,他们推出了PLI和DLI计划,这两个计划都很好,所有的国家都说这将会改变半导体行业的游戏规则。这不仅仅是政府提供的一种激励措施。政府为那些想要开始芯片和显示器制造工艺的公司提供了良好的支持。所以他们为这种特殊的生态提供了所有的支持,从土地到电力等都可供使用。

Q:另外,你说印度政府正在给予各种各样的支持来发展这个行业和业务,对吗?所以,制定半导体制造计划需要大量的风险评估,而印度私营部门对该领域的投资比较少?

A:几十年来,私营部门一直有兴趣开展半导体业务,但缺乏大量资源。正如我所说,这是一项成本非常高的业务。你不能在很短的时间内开始。所以现在看经济增长,看私营部门的增长,看公司的投资能力,这件事已经成为现实。在此之前,投资是一个问题。我们的半导体业务较少。但2014年之后,情况完全改变了。如果你看看大公司,大多数公司都对半导体感兴趣,尤其是那些估值已经超过100亿美元的公司,他们都有兴趣进入半导体行业。

为此,我认为所有邻国都有很多机会,因为我想每个人都认同21世纪属于亚洲。所以这是我们的时代,没有人会不同意这一点。即使是西方国家也不能否认21世纪属于亚洲。例如,激光器由中国提供,设备由韩国提供。基于改革的设备也是价值链的一部分。我相信这是一场亚洲革命。这不是唯一的印度革命,这完全是亚洲革命。所有邻国都有大型公司的业务类型,且在完成项目方面取得进展。

Q:亚洲在整个行业中扮演着这样的角色。我也很好奇,我们不仅仅是在建设一个产业。我们在印度也有市场,对吧?说到制造业,你认为印度软件市场在芯片设计中扮演着怎样的角色?

A:我想大家都知道,全球75%的芯片是由印度人设计的。所以人才来自印度,因为印度软件行业的发展。因此,超大规模集成电路技术是印度已经拥有的巨大潜力。我们唯一不具备的潜力是制造厂。所以如果你看下整个软件行业,我们在所有国家都有人才。你可以看到印度的软件工程师。所以对于软件产业的支持,硬件是完全附加的优势。即使制造工艺也需要大量的软件支持。因此这已经是可用的。所以这从来不是一个挑战。

Q:与其他地区相比,你认为在印度设立半导体工厂有哪些优势?

A:第一个优势是我们有自己的需求。我们依赖很多东西,甚至是政治造成的很多问题。基本上,我的工作是积极的。所以我的重点不是互联网,国际政治,而是人与人之间的联系。如果你看到我们,印度制造厂在进口微芯片方面存在很多挑战,对吧?无论是来自亚洲国家,还是来自欧洲或美国,我们确实需要一些外国公司在印度设立制造厂。

如果他们生意好的话没关系,对吧?即使我们也做了很好的生意,如果能和其他国家做生意就太好了。如果其他国家在印度设立晶圆厂,我们就能与需求竞争。目前,差距是巨大的。所以巨大这个词还不够,我想差距是庞大的。这是我们正在寻找的最大优势,就像其他国家在印度设立晶圆厂一样。

Q:你提到了存在一些挑战。所以如果你想在印度投资和设立芯片工厂,对吗?你能多谈一点吗?

A:基本上没有挑战。我告诉你为什么。首先,你会在印度以低成本找到优秀人才。它不需要从一个你必须用欧元和美元支付的国家雇佣员工。这是一个优势。第二个优势是,印度已经与许多国际公司建立了合作伙伴关系,如果马恒达已经在中国设立了一家工厂,那么这种合作关系非常好,这是过去十年中非常成功的合作关系。我认为这一伙伴关系已经存在近十年了。印度一直是他们的好伙伴。印度肯定会帮助其他国家克服这一挑战。所以即将来到印度的公司不必独自面对挑战。

Q:实际上在第二季度,印度是少数几个智能手机出货量每年增长8%的主要市场之一。印度正在成为美国和其他传统市场以外最大的半导体消费国之一。那么你认为这两者之间有什么联系吗?正如我们所说,今年印度芯片制造业增长强劲?你看到它们之间有什么联系吗?

A:这是一种直接的联系,一个原因。如果你看到,在过去的7年里,主要的互联网用户来自移动设备,我们交谈的每一秒互联网用户都在增加,对吧?无论是发达国家还是未联网地区,互联网用户每天都在增加。这直接增加了对微芯片的需求,这是第一件事。第二件事,自动化涉及从智能家居、工业、商业、交通到物流等各个方面。自动化程度的提高也增加了对微芯片的需求。我相信这与你的问题直接相关。我相信每个人都有这样的需求。我认为任何国家或任何公司都没有边界。这是每个人的网球室,每个人都应该有机会。

Q:也有很多传言称,苹果计划开始生产iPhone 14,以缩小中国和印度之间的差距。你对这一猜测有何评论?

A:我确实听说过一些传言,但我相信不仅是iPhone,还有很多其他智能手机也在制造中。但是如果你看看需求,富士康的主要制造工厂仍然在其他国家,某些部分肯定会在印度制造。也许不是印刷电路板,也许不是关键设备,而是其他的组装部件。也许主要组装可以在印度进行。当然,除非我们有自己的生态链晶圆厂,否则在同一个国家生产iPhone的所有组件是非常关键的。

这就像我们在不同的国家出货的手机一样,对吧?就iPhone 14的制造而言,其中国工厂的严格安全控制和严格流通不会轻易被取代。你对印度的劳动力成本做过调查吗?

基本上,如果你看一下劳动力成本,印度和中国之间的差距不会太大。

这是第一件事。第二件事是,如果你看下需求,印度是iPhone最大的买家之一。这就不同了,比如特斯拉在中国生产汽车,因为他们不想从其他国家进口汽车。即使它拥有非常好的iPhone 14工厂,也只能满足印度目前的需求。这是我的计算。我可能不对。目前没有人能给出确切的数字。没有人能做到。但如果你看下需求,工厂只能满足印度目前的需求。

Q:以上就是我所有的问题。你还想提出其他评论或建议吗?

A:首先,我相信有每个人的空间,这就是为什么会有一个词叫芯片战争。我们不需要任何形式的芯片战争,石油战争或其它,我们可以合作。我们可以帮助创造新的一代,一个非常好的技术生态系统,为什么仍然会出现这个国家领先,那个国家落后的情况?不,我们应该永远保持一致。这是错误的,正如我所说,这是一个增长的市场,每个人都有一块蛋糕。

我认为我们可以创造一个双赢的局面,作为亚洲的一个大集团,我们正在取得进步,我们都在某种程度上取得进步。

我们当然应该帮助其他面临很多问题的亚洲小国。我们一定会团结起来帮助他们,因为没有人会帮助他们。这是一种情况。亚洲小国有很多人才。我看到他们在西方国家做半导体制造工作,但他们不能回到自己的国家。他们有自己的国家,他们必须加入大公司。所以你为国家的未来投资,人才却流失到国外。我认为中国也会面临同样的情况。所以这是我们所有人都会面临的情况,所以我们也必须解决这个问题。

以下是采访原文(英文):

Q: So so our subjects may focus on two area. So my first question is, so India wants to take a step up the semiconductor manufacturing value chain. So could you give us some analysis that a series of India governments’ insensitive effect to match this ambition?

A:India is a little bit behind the schedule of the technological advancement in semiconductor. We faced a chip shortage in a very bad way. All other countries face chip shortage, but India faced most and all the sources for chips like Europe or China or US ever throws during pandemic, before that the shortage was already started. So that was the recent government thought that we should have a manufacturing facility available in India that would increase, having better electronics devices in future.

Basically, they launched to schemes called PLI and DLI, both of them are really good scheme, and all the country has told that this game is going to be a game changing in semiconductor industry. This is not only an incentive which a government is provided. Government is providing a really nice support for the companies who want to start the fabrication process for chip and display. So they are giving all the support for that particular ecology, starting from availability of land to electricity and availability of excess everything.

Q:Also, you're saying that the India government is giving all kinds of all sorts of support to grow this industry and grow this business, right? So to build semiconductor fabrication plans is a heavy assess industry for high stacks, where Indian private sectors be showing enough weakness to invest in this area?

A:Private sector was having interest on starting semiconductor of business since decades, but lake of a lot of resources. And as I say, these are a very capital-expensive business. You cannot started in a very short period of time. So now looking towards the growth of the economy, looking towards the growth of private sector, looking towards the investment capacities of companies, this thing has become a reality. Before that the investment was one of the issues. We have less semiconductor development. But scenario has completely changed after 2014. And if you look at the interest of big companies, most of the companies are interested in semiconductor, particularly all the companies who already have crossed $10 billion in the valuation they are interested in entering into semiconductor business.

For that, I think all neighboring countries have lot of opportunities, because I think everyone will agree that 21st century belong to Asia. So this is our time, nobody can disagree on that. Even western countries cannot disagree that the 21st century belongs to Asia. For example, the lasers are supplied from China, the equipments are supplied from Korea. The reform based equipments are also in a part of the value chain as well. This is kind of an Asian revolution, I believe. This is not the only Indian revolution, it's completely Asian revolution. All neighboring countries also have a kind of business types with bigger companies, and that make some more progress in terms of completing the projects.

Q:So the Asia, it's like having this role in this whole industry. And I'm also curious, so it's not only like we're building an industry. We also have markets in India, right? We so it's like when comes to manufacturing, so what role does India software market do you think is playing in chip design?

A:I think everyone knows that 75 % of global chips are designed by Indians. So the talent comes from India and because of the growth of software industry. So the VLSI expertise are a kind of a huge potential India already have. Only potential we didn't had was fabrication facilities. So if you look at the overall software industry, we already have talents in all the countries. You can see Indian software engineers. So things for a support of software industry, hardware is completely added advantage. And even for a fabrication process, you need a lot of software support. So that is already available. So that was never a challenge.

Q:What do you think are the advantages of setting up a semiconductor fab in India compared to other regions?

A:The first advantage I see is that we have our own demand. And we depend on a lot of things, even a lot of problems caused by the other politics. Basically, I work on aggressive level. So my focus is not on internet, international politics, but my focus on people to people connection, right? If you look at us, a manufacturing facility in India face a lot of challenges importing microchips, right? Whether that is from Asian country or that is from Europe or US, we really need some foreign companies to have the fabrication facility in India.

That's okay if they make a good business, right? Even we are also making good business, it would be great to have a business with other countries as well. If other countries making fabs in India, we are able to compete with the demand. Right now, the gap is huge. So a huge is a small word, I guess it is gigantic. The gap is gigantic. That is the most advantage we are looking for that, like other countries make fab in India.

Q:So you are mentioning like, so there are some challenges. So if you want to invest and build chip fabs in India, right? Can you talk more of that?

A:So basically, there are no challenge. I tell you why. The first thing is, you will find good talent at a good cost in India. It do not have to hire people from a country where you have to pay in euros and dollars. That's one of the advantages. Second thing is that India has been a partner with a lot of international companies, and those partnership have been really nice if that Mahindra has already a plant in China, and that is kind of a very successful partnership throughout the decade. I think it's almost a decade that partnership started. India has been a really good partner with them. India would definitely help others to overcome the challenge. So the company who's coming to India don't have to face challenge alone.

Q:Actually in the second quarter, India was one of the few major markets where smartphone shipments grow 8 % year of a year. It's becoming one of the largest consumers of semiconductor outside US and other traditional markets. So do you see any connection between this? And as we say, the strong growth in chip manufacturing in India this year? So do you see there any connections?

A:That is a direct connection, a reason. If you see, like in last 7 years, the major Internet users are from mobile devices that is increasing every second we talk, right? Whether you see developed countries or the untouched regions, the Internet users are increasing every day. It's directly increasing the demand of microchip, that is the first thing. Second thing, the automation involvement in all the aspect from smart home to industries and commerce and everywhere, transportation or logistic. The increase of automation also increased the demand for microchip. I believe that it is directly connected to what you ask. I believe there is a room for everyone for such kind of demand. I don't think there is one boundary for any country or any company. This is tennis room for everyone, and there should be opportunity for everyone.

Q:So also there are a lot of rumors suggest that Apple plans to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 to narrow the gap between China and India. So do you have any comments on the speculation?

A:I actually heard about rumors, but I believe that not only iPhone, there are a lot other smartphones also being manufactured in story. Yeah, but if you look at the demand, a Foxconn major manufacturing still in other countries compared to India, some part definitely going to be manufactured in India. Maybe not the PCB, maybe not the critical devices, but the other assembly parts. Maybe main assembly can be in India. Of course, unless we have our eco chain of fab, it is very critical to make all the components for iPhone in same country.

It's still like we got out of shipment phones in different countries, right? As far as iPhone 14 manufacturing is concerned, the drastic security controls and stringent circulation of its China facilities would not be easy be replaced. So do you have any investigation on the labor cost in India?

Basically, if you look at the labor cost, it won't be a huge difference between India and China.

That is first thing. Second thing is like, if you look at the demand, India is one of the biggest buyers of iPhone. That makes difference like Tesla is producing cars in China because they don't want to import cars from other countries that makes difference. Even if that is having a really good facility for iPhone 14, then it will cattle only Indian demands for now. That is my calculation. I may be wrong. Nobody can give any exact figures at this moment. Nobody can. But if you look at the demand, the facility little cattle only Indian demands for now.

Q:So that's all of my questions. So do you got like any other like comments or suggestions that you want to back up or you want to make?

A:First of all, I believe that there are room for everyone, why there is a word called chip war. We do not need any kind of a chip war, oil war or anything, we can work together. We can help make new generations, a really nice technological ecosystem, why we are still having like this country's leading, this country's behind? No, we should ever be on same page. That is wrong, as I told you that this is a very growing market and everybody has that piece of cake.

I think we can make a win-win situation and as a big group of Asia, we're making progress, we're all making progress somehow.

We definitely should help other small Asian countries who are facing a lot of issues. We definitely get together and help them, because nobody is going to help them. So that is one sort of thing. There are a lot of a talent reciting small countries of Asia. I've seen they are doing their post situation in a semiconductor fabrication from western countries, but they cannot go back to their country. And they had their countries, they have to join the big giant companies. So that is kind of a thing that you invest in your country's future and the talent goes out. I think that China will face the same situation. So this is the situation we face all, so we have to work on that as well.

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