Quite a few challenges before Indian semicon industry!

February 4, 2011

Anyone, who has the slightest interest in the Indian semicon industry, will agree with my statement. As of now, there are multiple challenges facing the Indian semicon industry. That’s where the India Semiconductor Association’s (ISA) Vision Summit comes into play! It assumes much larger importance!

Right now, there are no fabs or foundries in India. There aren’t even too many fabless companies. Okay, let’s face it! There aren’t even that many locally bred LCD or OLED or PDP players. Are there?

Let’s refresh your memory once again! Back in September 2007, the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and IT, Government of India, came up with the Special Incentive Package Scheme (SIPS) to encourage investments for setting up semicon fabs, and other micro and nanotechnology manufacturing industries in India!

The “ecosystem units” were defined as units, other than a fab unit, for manufacture of semiconductors, displays including LCDs, OLEDs, PDPs, any other emerging displays; storage devices; solar cells; photovoltaics; other advanced micro and nanotechnology products; and assembly and test of all the above products.

What has since happened? There has been a spiralling growth of solar PV firms — that too, largely owing to the Indian government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JN-NSM)!  Now, that’s not semiconductors!! I know there will be some disagreements with several folks, and so be it!!!

Recently, the ISA organized a one-day workshop on the Karnataka Semicon Policy. There was a presentation, which proposed the following features for 2010-11:
* Semiconductor focused school and research lab in IIITB: Rs 650.00 lakhs.
* Augmenting orchid tech space in STPI to characterization lab: Rs 200.00 lakhs.
* Implementation of agreement with MATIMOP, Israel (Fund for Semiconductor Excellence): Rs 100.00 lakhs.
* Various subsidies/incentives/concessions under industrial policy 2009-19: Rs 50.00 lakhs.

Perhaps, Israel will help out India for the time being. However, the Indian industry needs to closely look at itself and start to stand up and be counted!

  1. Hillol Sarkar
    February 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm


    Global F has a Fab in Singapore. I think they will expand further. Global F can setup a fab in India. They are investing in Germany for 450mm line.

    GF will lead semiconductor industry and they will be supported by US Government for new technology. Let me know your thoughts.

    • Gary Dare
      February 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Hillol, the locations that you cite are pre-existing facilities since GF was formed from the merger of AMD’s fab division (Dresden, Germany), Chartered Semiconductor (Singapore). Their US site is a spin-out from a joint IBM/NXP facility (originally all-IBM, NXP joined later) that GF acquired and research work being carried out there is with State of New York money, not federal.

      With federal research funds falling in the past decade, and public budget stress at all levels (federal, state, local), the prospects for future grants does not look good especially with GF’s major investor, Abu Dhabi’s sovreign wealth fund, likely to attract negative political scrutiny if the issue arises. GF’s success will have to be fueled by revenues on top of the SWF investment. If GF decides on building another fab site, then India would enter into the competition.

  2. Tim Mazumdar
    February 5, 2011 at 6:58 am


    Your point is well taken. There is no interest in the local ecosystem to fund any form of electronic manufacturing.

    The local ecosystem will continue is the same way to do outsourced design work for MNCs. That will end when China takes over the reins of the world in the coming decade and the American MNCs become smaller entities. Chinese companies will simply not outsource a lot of work to Bangalore except a minor sliver of software. That means no system level design – that will be done in North Asia or even ASEAN.

    • Shiva Kumar Reddy
      February 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Hey Tim,

      I completely agree with you. Chinese just want to dominate the world of electronic manufacturing. I strongly believe that it’s very difficult for any country to compete with their quality. When it comes to the system level design, most of the companies will prefer India than China. Because, we respect our customer IPs and also give out a cheap labour for design work. I think the last downturn in the economy has turned the world towards India for their system design. Currently, most of the system design is happening in India. I can give you with a list of scenarios and development happening in India by both fab and fabless semiconductor companies.

  3. Manoj Nagesh
    February 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    From LinkedIn:

    I completely agree with you! The time has came that our Government must think about the fab,either by self or through collaboration. Earlier, we had news for Hyderabad, but nothing came out fruitful for Indian semiconductor industry.

    I would like to add one more point: colleges who are running VLSI Courses should be connected to the existing clean rooms.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: