LONDON The Indian government should help private enterprise invest in a semiconductor wafer fab, according to an EE Herald report that references Madhavan Nair, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Nair provided a keynote speech at the annual Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) event that was held this year in Bangalore on Monday and Tuesday (Feb 1 and 2).
"India badly needs a semiconductor fab. Compared to other countries, we have not invested in this area, and at least now, we should seriously think [about it]," the report quoted Nair as saying. "In the last two years, a lot of discussions were going on, but nothing concrete has taken place. Looking at the volume of the business India has got in terms of communication and computers equipment, we need a fab. The industry should come together and the government should also support the initiative," it also reported Nair as saying.
Nair is also reported to have said that semiconductor industry needs to invest in R&D and have patience to wait for a good return on investment.
Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., with support from Infineon Technologies AG, and SemIndia, supported by Advanced Micro Devices Inc., were two manufacturing operations that were floated in the middle of the last decade.
However, a government-backed "fab city" in Hyderabad seemed to lose momentum and the focus moved away from the high cost of semiconductors for information and communications technology and towards silicon for solar power. A delay to SemIndia's plans to have India's first major semiconductor manufacturing facility, incurred in 2007, forced it to consider making wireless routers and home-computer networking equipment.
Since then India has seen how the Gulf state of Abu Dhabi has, with a budget of $10 billion, set about manouvering its way into a key place in the semiconductor industry with the creation of GlobalFoundries Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.).
Related links and articles:
India's Fab City investment to top $7 billion as focus moves to solar
Tower in talks with SemIndia, HSMC
GlobalFoundries, Qualcomm ink foundry deal