Well it is a exercise in futility. The Govt will announce a fab with a willing participant, divi up the land near the announced fab, sell it investors for exorbitant money and then watch the fab disappear. This will be the third time... Another major corruption..... Guess the current govt needs money before next election cycle... New gimmick...
Sometime in the middle of the last decade, when Y.S. Reddy was the Chief Minister of A.P State, we heard about the Fab City near Hyderabad, A.P. But that idea never materialized.
An industry expert once gave a very good explanation to me... its not just the capital cost or the subsidized land or tax benefits that are preventing companies from setting up a fab in India... but the shortage of continuous power/water/etc., supply, and the services that are need to sustain a fab.
From a zoomed-out perspective... China is pacing itself to be the next mfg giant with huge investments in energy technologies, the UAE is looking towards Solar/Semiconductor technologies (read as ATIC/GF).. If India were to compete in this fast changing geo-political stage, it has to focus on these technological trends and place itself strategically.
I wonder if the Indian Govt. is thinking realistically when it made this statement in the article "Local chip manufacturing will not only offset those imports but, the government believes, bolster an ecosystem from chips through software to systems. "
If anyone knows better, could you please tell me in which country does such an ecosystem exists? First off, would it be advantageous to have one? With Taiwan (and of course China) in the backyard, a country whose semicon mfg has kept up with the Moore's law and is driving down the costs with its scale, is it practical for India to think that it can create an affordable semiconductor eco-system? May be the Indian Govt is thinking strategically and placing the fab production in such a way that it meets the cost and market demand. But I think it has falsely cried "wolf" too many times already.
@ HVREDDY: Could you pls comment on one other time when this happened?
Well, it doesn't hurt to test the waters, does it? Most know it's a no brainer in not spending billions on a new FAB when fabs worldwide are in post consolidation phase now. If the global leader, TSMC itself was finding it difficult in these lean times to get its order book full then it's better to concentrate efforts on it's domestic electronics industry.
This shows that 11 companies studied well about starting in India. Probably the recent automation in India's Government offices functioning on online which has reduced the bottlenecks at many instances. Soon i feel India will reach its destination for a clean functioning of the Government policies.
This article is a follow-up to an earlier eetimes article from Apr 21.
There it mentions India's govt target of 2020 for a chip industry, which is far too late to rely on current situation. It also mentions drifting interest toward PV, which makes some sense. Bad for US though.
As much as I love India and its people I do not understand why they need a $3-5B fab? They are great with design but why a fab? Brazil tries to pull off a Front End Fab and has problems since years. I also heard that water and power are issues.
My understanding is that the Indian government thinks the country should be making Significant amounts of hardware domestically, meaning chips and equipment. Otherwise it's IT bill in future will grow to exceed it's fuel import bill. The logic is also that without Oil and IT India cannot raise the standard of living for it's citizens.
And if it is a net importer of fuel and IT what will it export to pay for these.
The conclusion seems to be that india needs to start down the road previously taken by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.
IMHO, they would be better off targeting solar in order to get energy independent as soon as possible. That would help the environment as well. Both solar and chips are terrifically competitive industries, but energy will affect everything and anything that they do, and a properly planned distributed solar energy system will improve the daily life of everyone in the country in fundamental ways. Chip design is more important for them to have than actual chip manufacturing--fabless is the only way to go with Samsung and Intel both entering the foundry business, joining TSMC.
When a country makes a policy decision it has long term effects in mind. So the short term problems like TSMC having spare capacity and Brazil finding it difficult to stabilize its FAB should not deter a govt from taking such a decision.
As far as the power situation is concerned , India has the capacity to establish the required power infrastructure.
Considering India's progress in other areas such as IT , Chip design services, Automobile manufacturing and also considering its strategic importance in the Asian region it comes as a no surprise to me that Indian Govt is taking such a bold decision.
I do agree with the optimistic outlook. But as you have rightly pointed out, "India has the capacity to establish the required power". Many of the developing countries have the capacity to provide basic amenities to the populace but its the management of resources that causes the scarcity.
True. India is pacing towards IT, ChipDesign and Auto industries. But there is a significant, magnitude-level difference between Semiconductor mfg and the above industries.
The cost of a "production stop" due to any of the "lack of resources" will be far more costly when compared to a production stop in IT/Auto industries.
Also, by the time India establishes semi mfg as a domestic industry, the technology may change by 2 or 3 nodes, not to mention the wafer size/s.
Secondly, the talent is also a concern. Although there are many Indians
in world-wide-semi industry, most of them have PhD/MS degrees from other countries (US/UK/EU/Singapore/etc). India has to think about building academic programs & R&D capabilities to train the advanced tech force required for this job. A time-consuming task.
Ofcourse, India can enter the semi mfg industry. But the question is - is it advantageous to do so? As "NAND_Analyst" pointed out above, India can strategically use its chipdesign/ IT skills to enter the "Fabless" sector.
There are many parallels between semiconductor and solar sectors. Quite a few research parks are trying to apply the "SEMATECH" research model in solar industry as well. The industry is nascent and India has plenty of Solar radiation/year, compared to Germany which is leading the industry right now. It can solve the energy solutions as well.
I am very interested in knowing what the 11 firms + Indian Govt is basing their argument in coming up with this idea? The reasons mentioned so far do not stack up to the weight of the argument.
It is a strategic decision which the country has taken. I am sure it will stand India in good stead by the end of this decade, both commercially and otherwise. Infrastructure needs specifically for the fab are trivial and addressable issues. In the 1960s, India was world class in transistor technology. But somehow we missed the microelectronics bus, due to policy decisions at the time. High time to correct this situation, (in fact quite overdue). Once the fab is up and running, it will surely be a commercial success, just catering to India's own needs; supported by some policy initiatives by Govt. The design and mfg ecosystem will automatically cluster around the fab and grow, once in place.