Chip Wars: India needs strong risk appetite to win the semiconductor race – Udayan Ganguly & Mudit Narain

(Udayan Ganguly is a Professor, IIT Bombay and Mudit Narain is Chief Technology Officer, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India. This column first appeared in The Quint on September 6, 2021)

  • Imagine a day in your life without semiconductor chips. Planning to wake up with an alarm on your trusted mobile phone and then heat some food for breakfast? There is no phone, or laptops, TVs, cars, aeroplanes, trains, or even microwave ovens, without silicon. All elements of modern life are dependent on semiconductor chips. A day without silicon technology is a non-starter, literally and figuratively. Semiconductor technology today determines everything from a citizen’s daily life to a country’s economic competitiveness and national security. COVID-19, a black swan event, packed 10 years of technology adoption into a single one. Global chip shortages ensued almost immediately. As if this was not enough, the supply chains of electronic components were disrupted by the China-US chip wars. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), on the hotly contested island, supplies 56% of the global chip market. This is more than half of the processing power of your phones, cars, computers, microwaves, or the entire modern economy. The shortage is not hypothetical. Mercedes has had to stop production for a while due to a chip shortage. Closer home, Tata lost $0.74 billion in June’21 quarter…

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