LONDON – Specialist foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd., which trades as TowerJazz, has announced it has signed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a "European entity" to seek process transfer opportunities in India and Brazil.
The intellectual property licenses – and therefore it must be supposed the manufacturing processes – will come from the unnamed partner and cover all process nodes from 1-micron to 32-nm and include MEMS capabilities.
Tower (Migdal Haemek, Israel) describes the partner as a "world leader in nanoelectronics research."
Tower will provide training, manufacturing know-how, project management and technical support. As well as supplying licenses the unnamed partner will supply supporting services and training. Together, they will target Indian and Brazilian fabless companies and IDMs aspiring to serve India and Brazil as their end markets.
Both India and Brazil are emerging as promising markets in the semiconductor industry and in both places it is government policy to foster the creation of economies of scale in semiconductor design and manufacturing. It is estimated that the Indian semiconductor market alone will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars by 2020, Tower said.
"We are extremely pleased with this continued alliance with our European partner to bring together the competencies of both companies to engage in project transfer opportunities in growing markets such as India and Brazil. With our TOPS business unit [Transfer Optimization Process Services] we are well equipped for such activities and look forward to winning many more successful projects," said Itzhak Edrei, president of Tower, in a statement.
It is very encouraging to know that the Indian semiconductor market is estimated to grow to 100 billion in 2020. I think the semiconductor market in India was $6.5 billion in 2010 and is estimated to grow to $9.8 billion by 2012 (~50%). With this same growth rate, it might reach $50 billion by 2020. Is $100 billion not too optimistic?