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Indian researchers developed a low-cost semiconductor manufacturing process for strategic sectors like space and defense.

Indian researchers developed a low-cost semiconductor manufacturing process for strategic sectors like space and defense.

An Indian scientist has developed a low-cost semiconductor manufacturing process. With its help, he’s been able to create ICs that can handle up to 20 volts. The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, provided funding for this project. Clock drivers, high voltage switches, and power management ICs could all benefit from this technology. This technology has the potential to be useful in space and defense applications once it has been certified. Between 2015 and 2020, India’s PMIC market is predicted to grow by double digits, with a CAGR of over 10%.

Key Highlight:

  • An Indian scientist has developed a low-cost semiconductor manufacturing process.
  • With its help, he’s been able to create ICs that can handle up to 20 volts.
  • Clock drivers, high voltage switches, and power management ICs could all benefit from this technology.
  • This technology has the potential to be useful in space and defense applications once it has been certified.
  • Between 2015 and 2020, India’s PMIC market is predicted to grow by double digits, with a CAGR of over 10%.

For the first time, an Indian scientist has developed a low-cost semiconductor manufacturing process and applied it to design integrated circuits (ICs) that can handle voltages up to 20 V. High voltage devices and processes developed by Semi-Conductor Laboratory, Mohali, were integrated into the CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) process flow.

Different supply voltages, PMICs, and battery management ICs are required for electronics in satellites. Ideal CMOS technology is needed for PMICs, which require a wide range of voltages and high performance. Only 3.3V is supported by the Semiconductor Lab’s 180nm CMOS technology, which is used to fabricate future satellite clock drivers and PMIC.

A team led by Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar professor Dr. Nihar Ranjan Mohapatra has developed a new CMOS technology capable of producing semiconductor devices capable of handling voltage levels up to 20 V, which is essential for the PMICs. The Department of Science and Technology, India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, provided funding for this project. He has also applied for a patent in the United States.

At this stage of the Technology Readiness Level (4), this technology could be used to design high-voltage switches, power management ICs (PMICs), and battery management IC. IIT Gandhinagar, the Semiconductor Laboratory, Mohali and the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad have tested the devices developed by the team.

For space and defense applications, this technology will be an asset once it has been qualified. Over the next five years, the power management IC (PMIC) market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 10%, according to ‘India Power Management IC Market Forecast and Opportunities 2020’. Aside from consumer electronics and mobile devices, PMICs are expected to be used in a wide range of other industries, including IT and office automation, networking, and telecom equipment.

However, the industry relies solely on foreign imports due to the lack of an indigenous manufacturer and indigenous technology. If you’re in a critical sector like space or defense, you may have a long wait before you can get your hands on the latest in PMIC technology from an outside foundry. As India’s low-cost semiconductor processes and CMOS-DMOS technology are developed, more design activities and PMIC-related start-ups will emerge.

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