Home > EDA, EDA tools, fabs, India semiconductor market, Indian semiconductor industry, Synopsys > Premature to write off Indian fab story: Dr. Pradip Dutta

Premature to write off Indian fab story: Dr. Pradip Dutta

June 24, 2008

The previous blog was focusing on SemIndia and the notice it has received on the Fab City in Hyderabad, along with NanoTech. BV Naidu, a friend and an industry colleague, has put up a strong front, and is trying his best to ensure things get going in the IC wafer fab space in India. Best of luck to him and SemIndia. India needs a fab, much more than ever, now.

I also happened to have a brief chat with Dr. Pradip K. Dutta, Corporate Vice President & Managing Director, Synopsys (India) Pvt Ltd, another friend and an industry colleague. Although from the EDA industry, Dr. Dutta has great thoughts and ideas regarding the future of semiconductors in India.

According to him, building wafer fabs in India involves an element of national pride and should also make business sense, simultaneously. The government has to look at fabs from a national policy perspective. If there were any company breaking ground in India, to build a clean-room, we would have known, he states, which is very correct.

We all know that a fab is a highly capital intensive project. He says: “I hope we can see some concrete proposals by this time next year. It is too premature to say that the Indian fab story is disappearing.”

There is a need to bear in mind that fabs in India have a three-year window. So, there is no reason for getting worked up right now, as the window is still there and existing. Dr. Dutta adds: “The business people will only open up their cards in the final stages. I have reasons to believe by summer of 2009, there will be some actual stakeholders.”

A fab is a very economically complex business. In the next five-10 yrs, there is a strong feeling that there may be only three to four companies globally, as IDMs, and the rest move into foundry. Dr. Dutta stresses: “To expect India will have a 5bn, 45nm, capable fab is something that needs to be examined. The business case has to be the driver.”

The semicon policy has definitely been a good start. What has since happened since that the ancillary manufacturing industry has been taking advantage of the policy.

“The government is quite optimistic that as we reach next year, by this time, companies will firm up their plans, as the industry window is three years. We believe that concrete proposals will come in by that time,” reiterates Dr. Dutta.

The government wants to see a state-of-the-art facility come up as well. He notes: “Maybe, 50 percent of all ICs sold globally, can be built on 0.25-micron technology. However, under the current semicon policy, we want to encourage state-of-the art manufacturing.”

Given the current global economic scenario, it will take real effort on part of all the stakeholders and come up with a wafer IC fab. India seriously needs a fab! There’s a huge market out there, which needs to be tapped. Delays will only add to our slipping back.

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