BANGALORE, India A consortium of Indian equipment companies in the U.S. has expressed interest in putting up a wafer fab in India, with the Indian government agreeing to the proposal in principle.
Expected to cost $3 billion to $4 billion, this would be the first such project in India, said Dayanidhi Maran, federal minister for communications and information technology, according to a report by United News of India
from Chennai Sept. 15.
"We have asked them (the consortium) to come out with a detailed project structure and the Centre had agreed to partake in the investment on joint venture equity basis," the report quoted the minister as saying.
The project was first talked about a couple of months ago. "The project is being developed with a futuristic vision as chips can be manufactured in 45, 40 and 35 nanometer size. We have a similar plant in Hyderabad, but it was a low-end plant where the chips are 250 nanometers," he said.
"I see a ray of hope as the wafer manufacturers, and Applied Materials Inc.--which provides machinery to manufacture wafers--have sought six months time to come out with a detailed project," the minister said.
Speculation about an India-based fab has risen the last few months, with one being planned in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh by a South Korean entrepreneur and another in Kochi, Kerala by an Indian businessman. The common link in these proposals is that the locations are in southern India, though the minister did not say where the latest plan is expected to be implemented.