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Progress made in building as many as 15 fabs in India

Indian Technology Minister says, "India needs not less than 15 fabs."

Multiple reports suggest that the Indian government has agreed to subsidize several chip manufacturing proposals submitted by two consortium. India has been lobbying for local chip manufacturing since 2005 and has had several false starts. The capital investment is huge, with a new modern fab costing up to $5 Billion. Should semiconductor fabrication move to India it's likely to be a large opportunity for ATE companies; particularly for wafer sort test opportunities.

So why must India have fabrication capabilities? There could be many explanations including a desire for local production to cut long term import bills. One article in business today explained that, "India is strong in semiconductor design - according to The Department of Electronics and IT, nearly 2000 chips are being designed every year in India and more than 20,000 engineers are working on various aspects of chip design and verification." But continued by asking, "does it make sense to replicate expertise already available in the rest of the world?"

India's Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Kapil Sibal told reports that, "One of the consortia comprises International Business Machines, India's Jaiprakash Associates and Israel's Tower Jazz. The second comprises Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, STMicroelectronics and Siltera."

Mark your calenders. The minister said the two consortiums would be asked to submit proposals within two months including detailed project reports as well as production mix and marketing plans. The detailed project reports would be evaluated by a third party, he said.

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