LONDON – More companies are being linked to the Indian government's plan to get one or more semiconductor wafer fabs constructed on the sub-continent. At least five chip companies have expressed an interest in supporting the project, according to a Hindu Business Line report.
The five are: GlobalFoundries, Infineon Technologies, STMicrolectronics, Russia's Sitronics JSC and a consortium comprising Jaypee Associates, IBM and Tower Semiconductor Ltd., the report said without naming sources. Sitronics is the parent of Mikron JSC (Zelenograd, Russia), Russia's leading manufacturer of ICs.
Tower (Migdal Haemek, Israel), which trades as TowerJazz, had declared its interest in working on a 300-mm fab project in India in February 2012 but did not reveal its consortium partners at that time.
The Hindu Business Line report said that foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) and chip company Freescale Semiconductor Inc. had turned down the opportunity to be involved but that Intel has offered to provide advisory support.
"While Freescale and TSMC have declined the proposal, Intel has offered advisory support on infrastructure and financial matters related to semiconductor manufacturing," the report quoted an unnamed source as saying. GlobalFoundries has said it can offer know-how for 200-mm wafer processing and processor intellectual property, the report said.
The report added that Indian government has selected management consultancy Accenture plc (Dublin, Ireland) to draw up a business proposal that could be put to the firms. Companies will not commit to the project until they know how much financial support the Indian government will provide and in what forms. Wafer fabs around the world are usually built with local and national government support and the support tends to be highest for sites where there is no history of chip manufacturing.
The Indian government invited technology providers and investors to submit expressions of interest in setting up wafer fabs back in June 2011. In September 2011 it was reported that 11 companies had pitched to the Department of Information.
Many observers are skeptical of whether chip manufacturing at anywhere close to the leading-edge is a worthwhile strategy for India because wafer fabs can cost billions of dollars to set up and other locations, such as Taiwan, have many fabs and established advantages. Nonetheless the Indian government has fostered the plan to set up local chip manufacturing as a means of easing a forthcoming balance of trade burden.
The government foresees exploding demand in India for consumer electronics which will be met by imports the country can ill-afford. Local chip manufacturing would not only offset those imports but, the government believes, bolster the growth of a manufacturing ecosystem from chips through software to systems.
I tried this in the 90s with the best possible team one could assemble (read ex TSMC). My conclusion then and now: There are lots of people with the $B but none with the vision or the balls to keep plowing $MM to stay current. One problem i see right away - too many cooks.
Start with backend assembly & test to build the competency, work on the infra-structure and supply chain.
India imports most of it electronics from China. Considering the Chinese are enemy No. 1 of the Indians with Chinese missiles based in Tibet are pointed at every major Indian city -- the Indians are funding the very guns and bombs that will kill them in the next war with China.
Further considering the Chinese consider several Indian states as part of their territory and daily incur into India territory, it's only a matter of time that India and China will square off. India will loose again as it did in 1962 because of the weak minded Indians like the ones on this board that claim India shouldn't have a Fab. The money should be spent on bread and butter instead they claim. Bread and butter won't save you from annihilation. But defense electronics and systems may.
Will India be forced build it's military electronics on Chinese fabs? Would Americans stand for this situation if it was us?
@BobsUrUncle, I am surprised that you are not updated about current trends. India recently tested Agni 5 which can reach every major chinese city. With this capability India has all the capability to retaliate any chinese aggression. No body can stop India from having a fab. I know its a slow process but once it picks up pace no body can stop the growth. Remember Indian IT growth sector story.
@sandeep063, I am not sure if climatic condition is the factor which is affecting this. Isn't it that Singapore has almost the same climatic condition as that of india ? I think its the lack of infrastrcture which is hurting the creation of fab. I hope government will take steps to correct this.
There is a saying.. "When milk is freely available at a reasonable cost, why buy a cow?".
While Fabs in Asia ( Singapore, Taiwan, China ) and Israel are selling wafers at reasonable cost, what's the reason to spend huge amounts of money to setup fabs?
Also, people should realize that the capital expense is only part of the problem. There is a huge cost involved in keeping the fab operational and if you don't run it with a certain level of utilization, it will become a white elephant. Also, the basic inputs needed to run a fab, water and electricity are in serious short supply in India.
Over the last 15-20 years, India has built a vast pool of design talent and I advise Indian government to rather focus on:
* Promote local fabless companies who can design chips in India, buy wafers from outside and get them packaged and tested in India. Look at companies like Broadcom and Marvell. They don't use any fabs in USA.
* Promote IP companies that can create building blocks for SOCs
* Setup package/ testing houses that can take raw wafers and crate packaged parts for local consumption
Wafer fabs around the world are usually built with local and national government support and the support tends to be highest for sites where there is no history of chip manufacturing http://www.mariages.net/robe-de-mariee/may-s-ange--e36202
Wafer fabs around the world are usually built with local and national government support and the support tends to be highest for sites where there is no history of chip manufacturing http://www.optimalhosting.com/features
"While Freescale and TSMC have declined the proposal, Intel has offered advisory support on infrastructure and financial matters related to semiconductor manufacturing," the report quoted an unnamed source as saying. GlobalFoundries has said it can offer know-how for 200-mm wafer processing and processor intellectual property, the report said http://www.croatiayachtcharter.com