Solar, semi rocking in India; global semi recovery in 2010?

October 9, 2008

Wow! What a start for October! We have had a whole new range of activities going on! Fist, late September, the India Semiconductor Association organized a solar/PV conclave in New Delhi, where plans were laid out for India’s roadmap in the solar/PV field. the ISA-NMCC (National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council) report on the Indian solar PV market was also released at the conclave.

According to Poornima Shenoy, president, ISA, the year 2015 could be important for this industry. She said, “Around this time, the product cost of the Indian solar PV industry is likely to match the semi grid parity (peak power) globally, and also to match the grid parity within India.”

Next, AMD joined hands with Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi to create “The Foundry Company”, a leading-edge foundry production outfit. It will also join the IBM joint development alliance for silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and bulk silicon through 22nm generation. It will be very interesting to see how AMD now takes on Intel!

Messe Munchen put out a white paper on “How China, India and Eastern Europe are changing the global electronics market.” This is not surprising at all! You can download the report by clicking on the link here, and I must say, the report is really engaging!

On the same lines, Gartner came up with its analysis that China is dominating the global semiconductor scene, and that both India and Vietnam are gaining! India’s growing might in semicon is well documented! Also, last month, I had mentioned how the lack of a fab or the exit of a top professional from an Indian semicon firm would not hamper India’s growing fortunes in this industry!

The trials and tribulations of the global semiconductor industry were already touched upon by Derek Lidow of iSuppli. Analysts such as Malcolm Penn of Future Horizons and those at Gartner have been saying similar things, more or less. Penn advises that this is the time to stop chasing fashion and get back to basics. He adds, “The good news being the industry basics are mercifully as good as they get back.”

Gartner only expects a recovery for semiconductors sometime in 2010! According to Gartner, a collapse in memory spending, combined with a weak economy, is driving a major contraction in semiconductor capital equipment spending in 2008. The slowdown is likely to continue into 2009 before the industry recovers in 2010.

SEMI now has a presence in India. Sathya Prasad, formerly of Cadence, has been appointed as president of SEMI India with immediate effect. This is a further indication of India’s growing leadership in the semicon space. I will be getting into a discussion with Sathya Prasad sometime later.

Of course, we have the usual stuff like companies selling off or retiring 200mm fabs. Examples are NXP, Hynix, Renesas, etc. Also, DRAM prices continue to be weak and suppliers could likely face a credit crunch.

Interesting mix of happenings, isn’t it! While India rocks in solar and semicon, we are still speculating on a recovery for the global semiconductor industry. About time India took the lead in making that happen!

Finally, I was busy with Durga Puja, and hence, didn’t blog in a while. Will try my best and make up for my absence. I would like to take this opportunity to wish SHUBHO BIJOYA to all of my Bengali and non-Bengali friends.

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