LONDON Ė Europe's largest chipmaker STMicroelectronics has been linked to Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (HSMC) as being part of one of two consortia in discussions with the Indian government over a proposal to set up one or more wafer fabs in India.
The most recent initiative to stimulate the start of Indian chip manufacturing was launched by the Indian government nearly two years ago. One consortium, which includes IBM, Jaypee Group and Tower Semiconductor Ltd., is known to have been involved in the process. The Indian government has reportedly said that two projects are left in the running and STMicroelectronics (Geneva Switzerland) has been linked to HSMC in a report from Indian publication LiveMint referencing sources familiar with the tender process.
A decision from the Indian government was originally expected by the end of 2012 but that was later pushed back to the end of the first quarter of 2013.
HSMC was originally formed in about 2007 with a plan to create two wafer fabs in India. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) to license a 130-nm CMOS digital manufacturing process as well as processes for RF and embedded flash. The plan failed to materialize and HSMC has been mainly quiescent since then.
HSMC has has offices in San Jose, Calif., and Delhi, India. It is led by chairman and CEO Devendra Verma, who has experience as a technology executive and venture capitalist. ST could be a source of manufacturing process technology for a newly-created Indian enterprise. This is an activity it has engaged in with chipmakers in Russia.
HSMC declined to comment on whether it was involved with ST in plans to create an Indian wafer fab. ST declined to comment on whether it was involved with HSMC in such plans.
Looks like these people in India know nothing ( or do not want to learn ) about the strategies followed by Taiwan, So. Korea, Singapore etc. Those countries did not jump from rice fields into Fabs at the latest node ( or even 3 nodes old e,g. 130 nm ) but accepted a sane & realistic learning curve - started with assembly,chip packaging, making simpler components and so on till they had both the trained manpower and credibility to embark on old - node Fabs. Even then it took the best of those Fabs ( eg. TSMC ) a full decade to catch up with the latest node.
Even if this HSMC Co. in India gets 2 node old 45 nm technology from ST or Tower how long will it take them to get their act together and manage repectable yield and then gather up the guts to go on to 32, 28 nm ...?
Do they have enough Capital to burn for the 10 years or longer it has taken others to climb that Hill ?
Its obvious -- they need some good advice & execution
Yet another project doomed to failure - can India succeed in chip manufacturing when solar cell and module makers struggle with poor infrastructure, lack of trained staff and stifling export/import regulations?