Would India connsider manufacture of electronic discretes such as transitors, diodes, etc. or probably even passive elements? In fact, I'm working in transferring technologies, Tower being one of many at the receiving end.
A fab in India would sure lure the Malaysia/ Singapore living Indians towards a switch of job. So I was told.
......but with local chip manufacturing capabilities, even if it is is specialzed More-than-Moore processes away from the leading edge, it is easier to foster those fabless chip companies, which do need to be up to speed in an understandng of Design for Manufacture....
On the one hand it is sensible to start with a fab plan while also nurturing fabless chip companies. On the other the fab and process part of the chip manufacturing process consumes the vast majority of the capital expense and R&D funds.
Was reading an article and found something interesting in the same context.
Indians can't sacrifice democracy to an authoritative model even when delivery of prosperity might be clearly visible in an authoritative regime. The authoritative model of China, arguably, might border on autocracy and perfect opaqueness but has taken them back to their centuries-old glory with a strong global imprint. India might or might not wish thay route the whole hog, but there is a trajectory beyond the current model of democracy.
A friend and colleague of mine was directly involved in setting up the 1983 fab in India. His frustration was with the government, starting with the shipment of photoresist that sat on the airport tarmac for several months before they would release it. Of course, the photoresist turned into glue!
thank you Anon...the problem I have with this fab investment is that modern fabs employ few people and are very capital intensive...I would think the software model with large employment and low capital investment fits India much better...Kris
Kris, its good if India sticks to software and buy the chips from somewhere else. But looking at the consumption this country has and low wages, I guess many industry leaders would make a lucrative business plan in front of the government that once we have silicon fabs everyone will make money. Because in India politics is only about making money. Many politicians have no strong educational background and have come up only because of family politics. They still are living in the era of bullock cart and caste politics.
I am not saying India doesnt deserve to have the silicon fabs or cannot have one. With the second highest population in the world and already proved in software services they can do it. But fab needs discipline, planning, government committment etc. In India, they hardly plan for future. One can see a high end BMW and cow on the same road. One flyover taken many years to build.
Cost of setting up fab, maintaining it and bringing it to break even needs lot of committment from industry, people and government. And like someone mentioned people in decision making position do not have right attitude to get these things going.
A fab is in India, is a license for politicians and crony businessman to loot money. Exihibit - Fab city in Hyderabad. $10.2 billion in land deals got done over there. Politicians and insiders made a killing. The investors holding properties in communities such as Oxygen city (they really had some very exotic names) are all holding land that will may be in 10years reach the value they paid for....Until the politicians change their value system (build a fab because your defense and country needs it and not as another avenue to loot money) , the fab is not going to happen. There is a BEL fab in Bangalore - they have land, they have power, water maybe. But they do not have vision. I talked to them in 1995 about starting a foundry. They even had Phillips, who would have given the process technology partnership, but the folks who ran it just were not willing to change. I told them I can get 100 expats to build a foundry, they just needed to make a committment. But als they did not move.... I watched SemIndia come and go... I don't think the fab will happen in my lifetime. If it does happen and if the politicians do not change their mindset, it is surely destined for a big budget flop.....
@Sufia, I am one of those who took your article in a constructive way. I have commented on this topic many times before in EE Times and else where (for example Pradeep Chakraborty's blog).
My argument in the past and I think that message is still valid in the present is this: India does not need to shell out billions of dollars to build a state of the art fab that offers next generation technology -14nm & 9nm which are going to be less than 5 in the whole world costing more than $5B to build. Older technology fabs like larger than 28nm nodes are still the work horses of today and for some forseeable future. Along with this, India could also encourage MEMS fabs where the process node technology is a minor consideration but technical innovation for newer sensing devices is the enabler.
The beaurocratic brickwall and lack of technology understanding and vision, albeit high-level that Sufia points out are the the major impediments. This can only be solved by active participation of the educated / informed population in the political process.
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