India's first analog semiconductor fab in Madhya Pradesh

Date: 14/02/2015
Building of semiconductor fab in India getting more real. Along with the two semiconductor fabs which have already got approved, the third semiconductor fab is expected to be constructed in State of Madhya Pradesh.

The U.S. based company called Cricket Semiconductor has agreed to invest US dollar 1 billion ( approx 6000 crore rupees) in building an analog integrated-circuit and power supply integrated-circuit specific semiconductor fab/foundry in Madhya Pradesh.

Cricket Semiconductor is a US-based company focused on the creation of a foundry with a footprint in India. Cricket Semiconductor says its goal is to establish India's first high-volume, globally competitive production wafer fab, accelerated by a mutually beneficial strategic relationship with a leading specialty foundry.

"Our mission is twofold—to build a wafer fab that can: Enable the electronics industry in India to use semiconductor products manufactured internally. Serve as the heart of an Indian ecosystem for electronics system design and manufacturing." said in the

The investment required for building analog semiconductor fab is comparatively less than most cutting-edge 28nm or even deeper node based digital semiconductor fabs. But the employment generation and the value creation is more significant for that investment.

Cricket semiconductor is estimated to create approximately 450,000 employment opportunities, with potential future economic impact of $40B over project life span.

IESA (India Electronics & Semiconductor Association) claimed it has played key role in enabling the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Cricket Semiconductor and the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh for an analog fab proposed to be set-up in the state. IESA also said it is helping Madhya Pradesh for their investment promotion initiatives.

Madhya Pradesh recently approved the ‘Analog Semiconductor Fabrication Investment Policy’ that provides for free government land, reimbursement for the cost of building the shell of the manufacturing unit, 24X7 power supply from two separate power grids and quality water supply at the doorsteps of the FAB units at an internationally competitive price fixed for 10 years. With this new policy, the state government will extend support to any fab investment that exceeds Rs 3,000 crore ($500 million) in the state.

DeitY is also praised for formulating conducive policy framework. Policies such as Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) is working out well in attracting investors to India.

Emphasizing the need for fabs in India, Ashok Chandak, Chairman, IESA said, "The specialty fab will enable the electronics industry to better utilize the Indian skill sets, give fillip to start up's and enable innovations of electronic products designed in India at lower cost of technology development, lower investment cost and lesser risk. With Cricket Semiconductor team's deep experience in design, technology, and manufacturing of analog / power semiconductors, we hope to see the analog and power semiconductors being made in India very soon”

“India has a large and fast growing electronics market. A specialty wafer fab focused on analog/power semiconductors is well suited to catalyse the Indian Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) ecosystem. We are confident that we can establish a high-volume, globally competitive specialty wafer fab in India. We are thankful to IESA for their strategic insights and support for this project and help in finalizing the MoU with the Government of Madhya Pradesh towards making this a reality," said Lou Hutter, CEO, Cricket Semiconductor.

“This project differs fundamentally from typical wafer fab projects in several ways. The project outlay, at around INR 6000 crores, is less than less than 1/10th of a leading edge digital fab. The emphasis will be on processes and technologies that align to Indian as well as global requirements such as industrial and automotive. Importantly, the cost of analog / power semiconductor product development is significantly less than digital semiconductor products. This lowers the investment entry barrier for Indian entrepreneurs to bring innovative products to the market, stimulating the ESDM ecosystem and leading to the creation of many thousands of jobs,” he added.

Lou Hutter had long stint at Texas Instruments until 2007, and later at Dongbu Hitek from 2008-2012 as Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Analog Foundry Business Unit.

Analog and mixed signal ICs are important in personal computers and mobile phones, but they are even more important in IoT driven embedded systems and other applications, where India can progress fast and become successful. Analog semiconductor fab in India fills the important missing block in the IOT eco space.

The other two IC chip fabs which are getting build in India includes:
1. Going to be established near Noida, U.P. is proposed by Jayprakash associates in partnership with IBM and TowerJazz. Technology nodes proposed by this group are 90, 65 and 45 nm nodes in Phase I, 28 nm node in Phase II with the option of establishing a 22 nm node in Phase III.

2. The other fab that is coming up near Gandhinagar, Gujarath is proposed by Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (HSMC) in partnership with STMicroelectronics and Silterra. Technology nodes proposed by this group are 90, 65 and 45 nm nodes in Phase I and 45, 28 and 22 nm nodes in Phase II.

With these three IC chip fabs, India definitely needs a memory semiconductor fab, we'll update you whenever there is an announcement related to memory semiconductor fab.

Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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