LONDON – Tower Semiconductor Ltd., an Israel-based foundry chipmaker that trades under the name TowerJazz, has said it has signed a binding memorandum of understanding with an unnamed Indian infrastructure company, to build and operate a 300-mm wafer fab in India.
According to reports, Tower (Migdal Haemek, Israel) will contribute to a consortium by providing know-how rather than cash.
The move would help Tower with migration to 300-mm wafers, to develop 90-nm analog process technology and deep submicron technologies such as 65- 40-nm, the company said.
A three-way consortium comprising Tower, the Indian conglomerate and a company described by Tower as a "worldwide leading technology provider" has presented to the empowered government committee which is overseeing an initiative to support and encourage the development of chip manufacturing in India. A Globes report states that the Tower consortium is bidding against at two other consortia in the government-organized tendering process.
Tower said it is in a strong position to win support from the Indian government because the consortium is strong and because Tower itself has experience of a previous successful government fab project win and execution.
However, Tower added that caution was necessary as it could not predict the outcome of Indian government selection or that it would win the bid.
The Indian initiative was revealed as Tower announced its financial results for 4Q11 and the full year of 2011.
"The recently signed India MOU is a tremendous opportunity for TowerJazz to utilize its manufacturing knowhow and technical expertise to gain a low cost entrance into an emerging market at a 300-mm wafer size level," said Amir Elstein, chairman of the board of directors of Tower, in a statement. "Should this proposal not be accepted, we remain active in pursuing such models where we add benefit to our partners and customers through our expertise and execution and benefit to the shareholders through profitable upside growth."
All initiatives in the past decade have fizzled out. Unless the State pours in capital and provides land, water and electricity this would not take-off. And the State has other priorities than setting up a Fab and rightly so. I am quite skeptical if this would materialize. I think a more feasible option is to be to boost electronics assembly. Its has been predicted that by 2020-2025 India's electronics import will exceed Oil import. That is very scary.
@ the designers and product developers in West. Guys emerging markets (esp. the GIGANTIC yet under-penetrated market in India) are real and an unfolding opportunity I am sure if the electronic eco-system develops in India it would benefit others elsewhere. It is not a zero-sum game.
Whether it is Hyd or Blore or Chennai, doesn't matter. Welcome to India. :)
@iniewski- I agree with you to some extent [though not fully] regarding the economic feasibility. Nevertheless, I believe that "Tower' will capitalise on early bird's offer and with multiple entries - the fabs in India will be 'not just feasible but more economical'.