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Indian chip policy still luring investors

Posted: 27 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:India chip policy? chip? semiconductor? India Semiconductor Association? Samsung?

Details of India's semiconductor policy such as the extent of tax breaks and subsidies being offered to potential investors have yet to emerge, observers said.

Investors are awaiting guidelines on how to proceed with setting up Indian manufacturing plants and the mechanism for doing so. Still, the policy announced Feb. 22 has revived the interest among companies thought to be interested in establishing fabs in the country.

Growing interest is likely to result in announcements of new India projects in the coming weeks, delayed only because the policy guidelines remain sketchy.

Industry sources said it may take a few weeks for details to emerge. Some expect the first chips made in India to appear as early as 2009, probably for wireless handsets.

Meanwhile, industry sources said an unidentified global chipmaker will likely enter into a joint venture with a group of expatriate Indian engineers to launch manufacturing facilities in India. (Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has already announced a technology pact with SemIndia Inc. for a semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.)

At least two more semiconductor manufacturing facilities are expected to be announced in the next few weeks, according to Raj Khare, chairman, India Semiconductor Association. The firm expects that the deals will result in a combined total of up to $10 billion in manufacturing for the country.

The Economic Times of New Delhi reported that Samsung, Freescale, Motorola, Intel, Infineon, STMicrorelectronics and Toshiba are among the possible investors in a $4.5 billion manufacturing facility being set up by the Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (HSMC).

HSMC is expected to establish a fabrication complex that will include several foundries to be built by HSMC, another report said. The fabs will 200- and 300mm wafer lines.

Pradip K. Dutta, managing director of Synopsys India said several overseas companies have previously expressed interest in setting up semiconductor manufacturing facilities in India. "I expect some concrete announcements in the new few weeks," Dutta said.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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