MUNICH, Germany — Infineon has signed a memorandum of understanding with recently-established Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (HSMC) to license several semiconductor manufacturing technologies required to launch production in India. Talks between the companies were revealed exclusively by EE Times Europe several weeks ago.
Infineon will license its 130nm basic CMOS process as well as process technologies for RF and embedded flash for chip card applications and for automotive applications to HSMC. Included in the agreement are several product-proven design libraries, Infineon said. In addition, the Munich, Germany, based company will offer expertise and support for the fab set-up and production ramp-up.
HSMC plans to install two fabs in India. The first one, designed for processing 8-inch wafers, will require investments of approximately $1 billion. The second fab is intended to process 12-inch wafers, requiring investments of $3.2 to $3.5 billion. First products are expected to be available in about two years.
HSMC has selected Infineon as strategic partner for its expertise in mobile handset, smart cards and automotive applications, said HSMC chairman Deven Verma, according to an Infineon press release. The move will help to increase India's GDP growth from 9 percent to above 10 percent, he said.
"We need the fabrication in India to complete the full semiconductor ecosystem," said Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, minister for communication and information technology in India, adding he hopes that the launch of a semiconductor manufacturing industry in the country would attract large investments.
Infineon, however, so far does not have the intention to take a stake in the Indian newcomer, said sources close to the company. An Infineon spokesperson pointed out that the contractual details will only be finalized over the next weeks.
According to the spokesperson, the partnership with HSMC is not aiming at expanding Infineon's manufacturing capacities. Thus, the memorandum of understanding does not include licenses for Infineon products or manufacturing outsourcing. "We do not rule out that our partner will produce Infineon chips, but they are free to manufacture any design or obtain licenses from any vendor," the spokesperson said.