In response to the Indian government's Semiconductor Mission aimed at transforming the nation into a semiconductor powerhouse, several companies have shown interest in establishing assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) facilities. Even though there are no definitive plans in place yet, for the most part, the enthusiasm within the industry is palpable, especially as the government promises to offer subsidies and incentives.
A company that is already active in the local semiconductor space without central government incentives is Polymatech Electronics. Speaking to DIGITIMES Asia, Eswara Rao Nandam, founding president of Polymatech, said that the company is focused on being a leading opto-semiconductor chips manufacturer and advanced electronic materials provider that is engaged in developing, manufacturing, and selling monocrystalline sapphire and other crystalline products for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), blue laser diodes, optoelectronics, and other optical applications.
"Our state-of-the-art facility, in which temperature and RH-controlled clean rooms have been made ready and equipped with machinery that was imported from Japan, has adopted a full-fledged Industry 4.0 theme," Nandam said. "The company is also working on forward and backward integration of current products and indigenization of products that are manufactured."
Innovation with sapphire wafers and advanced horticulture LEDs
Polymatech recently introduced a complete range of high-quality sapphire substrates, which includes two, three, and four-inch diameter sapphire wafers in the market. The "Made in India" wafers are being produced in the Oragadam facility in Tamil Nadu to ensure lower costs and stability.
"We are the first manufacturer of sapphire wafers in India, and our goal is to make high-quality sapphire wafers more accessible and affordable to Indian and global customers," Nandam said. "In the month of January, we introduced horticulture LED grow lights called RAVAYE. These new products, including full-spectrum packages, modules, and monochromatic LEDs, are designed to set a new standard in professional horticulture applications."
They offer a wider range of the light spectrum, promoting faster and healthier plant growth while also improving greenhouse conditions for floriculture and supporting vertical farming. By utilizing these advanced LEDs, farmers can benefit from lower lighting system costs and increased profitability, contributing to their overall success.
Targeting expansion with larger wafers and advanced 5G/6G components
Nandam claims that the company can affordably produce larger wafers. Among the range of sapphire wafers, Polymatech is focusing on the manufacturing of 4-inch diameter wafers with crystal orientation c-side (0001), A-plane (11-20), and thickness of 430±15μm with GaN crystals.
"This is in response to the current high demand for 4-inch sapphire wafers in the lighting and consumer electronics industries in India," Nandam said. "We also plan to scale up to make eight-inch diameter sapphire wafers in the future while maintaining the transparency of 200 to 7000 nm."
Currently, in the testing phase, Polymatech will start the mass production of advanced semiconductor components in India for 5G and 6G applications. Ahead of the widespread 5G rollout in India, there is a need for the industry to combat the friction points in 5G infrastructure. Leveraging our expertise in Sapphire-based GaN Semicon chips, Polymatech Semiconductors aims to not only reduce the procurement cost of components for telecom companies but also achieve low power loss and increased efficiency.
"With Polymatech's proprietary technology and experience in LTCC and HTCC packaging, we have the capability to create compact communication and sensor modules that operate at high frequencies," Nandam said. "Additionally, our photonics modules offer advantages such as low on-resistance, faster switching speed, quick reverse recovery, low-loss optical interfaces, high-speed electronics, and improved thermal management. While our in-house scientists have developed the technology, we are also in advanced discussions with industry experts from Europe to further enhance our capabilities and reduce any potential limitations."
Even as the Indian government considers ways to attract semiconductor manufacturers to the country, Polymatech is carving a path independent of incentives. The company's focus on homegrown products, coupled with its innovative approach to semiconductor development, showcases its commitment to progress.
Polymatech's foray into manufacturing high-quality sapphire wafers and horticulture LEDs enhances access to advanced semiconductor solutions, not just locally but also globally. Furthermore, the company's ambitions for larger wafer production and advanced 5G/6G components indicate a strong forward-looking strategy.
Eswara Rao Nandam, founding president of Polymatech. Credit: Polymatech.