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Korean firm plans Indian fab

Posted: 19 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:india semiconductor manufacturing? software? wireless? smart card?

India's first major fabrication facility is set to be established in the southern city of Hyderabad.

Intellect Inc., a South Korean company, has approached the regional government of Andhra Pradesh with a plan to build a fab at a total cost of $1.6 billion. The fab will be called India Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Hyderabad is best known for software development, but hosts a small, privately-owned fab owned by Teamasia Lakhi Semiconductors.

The fab plan was disclosed by Rajasekhara Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, during the inauguration of the Microsoft campus in Hyderabad. Reddy said negotiations between the Korean company and the government were now in the final stages.

Little is know about Intellect, which is said to be backed by June Min, a former senior executive from Daewoo Corp. It has already set up half a dozen fabs in Taiwan and China.

Investments will be in two rounds, with about $600 million in the first phase and the remaining $1 billion later. If funded, the fab would easily be the largest investment in India's hardware sector.

The company is seeking 50 acres for the fab, which will be developed in partnership with other hardware, communication and financial companies. Construction is expected to start sometime next year. The first chips will start shipping in 2006.

Details about chip technologies were not disclosed, but they will be aimed at the mass market, said C.K. Veeresh, joint director of the Andhra Pradesh communications and information technology department. The facility will employ at least 10,000 workers.

India's exploding wireless services market has fueled discussions about the need for fabs to manufacture SIM cards for mobile phones. Smart cards for identity cards, driving licenses and banking and financial applications are other possible applications.

- K.C. Krishnadas

EE Times

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