Will the curiously-named Cricket Semiconductor be going the same way as two previously-touted wafer fabs for India: into a state of uncertainty in position and momentum?
You may remember that Tower Semi is in one consortium and STMicroelectronics in another, both apparently selected to build wafer fabs on the sub-continent. The plans are years old except that nothing seems to be moving as Indian governmental committees form and reform; policy documents are produced and zoning and tax-exemption decisions made.
And then along came Cricket, formed by a couple of former Texas Instruments executives with a plan for an analog/power fab that seemed to make sense and a realistic price tag of just $1 billion. And a name for the company that demonstrates cultural alignment with a country whose population is fanatical about the game.
However, a similar stasis seems to have overtaken that project with a recent report throwing up uncertainty over where the fab will be located (see Could India's analog wafer fab be moving south?).
It may be a report that only represents wishful thinking on behalf of the state of Telangana but it still seems to typify a lack of commitment that potentially springs from one unanswered question that applies to all three fab projects: "Where is the money going go come from?"
It appears that in India fab building is a waiting game. And the wait will likely last until the Indian authorities at both state and national level acquire the political will to compete with China and stump up cash rather then rebates.
—Peter Clarke covers business news and analog for EE Times Europe.
Article originally published on EE Times Europe.
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