In a strong endorsement of the country’s $10 billion incentive plans for semiconductor manufacturing, global chip maker Qualcomm said on Tuesday that it is ready to promise chip purchases in India if companies such as Global Foundries, Samsung, TSMC, or other top suppliers begin manufacturing them here.
According to Cristiano R Amon, CEO of Qualcomm Inc., India is likely to lead the charge in 5G, and the push will be across consumer and enterprise segments, increasing demand for semiconductors and chips.
Qualcomm currently sources semiconductors from a variety of companies, including Global Foundries, Samsung, and TSMC, though none of them are currently Make in India. When asked if it will persuade companies to shift a portion of their manufacturing or future expansion to India by guaranteeing purchases.
He said: “… I think the answer to your question is (that) if our suppliers are motivated to build, and they have the right incentives to build in India, we-’re going to use their fab.”
The CEO of Qualcomm’s statement has to provide important pleasure to chipmakers who are currently being pursued by countries around the world but are wary of greenfield expansion without support from customers who buy from them.
Amon stated that Qualcomm is highly dependent on local engineering talent to carry out cutting-edge work in the field of 5G advancements. This would mean that more than half of the American company’s engineering talent would be based in India.
“India is one of the fastest growing areas for Qualcomm, (and) we probably were among the pioneers to do advanced semiconductor designs here. When you look at our presence in India, we have close to 18,000 employees. The majority of IT engineers do advance R&D in hardware and software for our global product portfolio. So, I’ll be bold to say that soon about probably half of our Qualcomm employees are going to be based in Qualcomm India.”
Amon further said that India will play an “incredible role” in Qualcomm’s future growth. “… we are inseparable from India.” In terms of 5G, he stated that India has the ability to bring scale in mobile devices, computers, and fixed wireless access for broadband. “When we look at the opportunities with 5G development in India, I see multiple and very important opportunities. They can all happen at the same time.”