It appears we are not bothered about what they think.
What would be our approach here ? Carrot & stick ? Will we tell them that we will buy more of their stuff if we can upgrade the electronics ourselves ?There are other means thru which we can get them to acquiesce to our demands.
Not all of them. Depends on the use really. You can make very powerful processors using the SCL's ancient 180 nm CMOS node. The processor will just be larger in size & consume more energy to do the work. So having older nodes don't really stop you from developing powerful processors if just makes the OBCs larger & hinders miniaturization.Aren't military grade semi conductors of a lower sophistication as compared to the commercial grade ones?
The larger size is actually beneficial for certain uses like HEMTs for radiating elements in radars, seekers, EW systems, actuator controls robotics etc. The larger chips usually show better thermal load management & need far less heat removal, a very desirable quality. Chips fabricated at more advanced nodes would heat up a lot more & require cooling. The cooling systems consume a lot of electricity too. So in the end HEMTs fabricated at more advanced nodes end up causing more electricity consumption.
So far we have been fabricating all these chips in India. That's how our missiles, seekers & radars etc. have very high levels of indigenization. But the advanced node chips that find more use in flight computers, data fusion & transmission etc. is still imported from Intel & some other companies. This import is what we are trying to cut down on with the upgrade of the SCL.
But don't expect the imports of high end chips to reduce immediately. But it will happen more rapidly than it did for the low end chips. High end chips are needed in much smaller numbers you see.
Excellent question. This is one thing the MoD, DoS & other parties involved do quite well. Cost amortization.If that isn't case what exactly is the SCL Chandigarh upgradation of facilities all about. We certainly don't seem to be spending billions of dollars there.
If you read that long boring article I wrote, you will notice that the SCL has many customers. Customers like the ISRO, DRDO, BEL, BHEL, MoD, Indian Railways, BARC, IGCAR etc. All of these organizations have large budgets & have some sort of expansion/modernization program running. Also all of these organizations are under the New Delhi's direct & indirect control.
Get these orgs to issue large orders of the chips they already purchase from SCL to be fabricated at the existing 180 nm CMOS node. Also get them to pre-order the same chips on the upcoming node at that SCL fab. This can be done through a combination of imposing a negative import list on certain types of chips & by heavy promotion of the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" program. Most importantly get these orgs to pay now for the chips fabricated at 180 nm & the upcoming node. So essentially you are taking money from one dept. of the govt. & putting it into the other dept. For the first few years the SCL will be working for free but that's not a problem.
Indian Railways alone plans to spend 100s of billions of US$ on modernization in the next few years. The Railways also have the Railtel under them, Railtel has been instrumental so far in the BharatNet project. For example Railtel is responsible for setting up a door to door broadband network in the entire NE. I can only imagine what that would cost. If the SCL can get a fraction of that money, we are set.
This is more or less how the 180 nm node was set up at the SCL. SCL worked for the ISRO at no cost for the initial few years. The money needed to set up a 180 nm fab was less so ISRO's own budget was enough. This new fab will cost a lot more, thus the collective effort.
But a lot of the supportive facilities already exists than will feed into the new fab. SSPL & GAETEC already has ingot & wafer making plants that supply to the existing 180 nm fab. The same can supply to the new fab. A lot of ship packaging facilities also exists at BEL, SSPL, GAETEC, STARC, LDRE, SCL etc.