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Infineon seen as likely partner for HSMC's Indian fab

Posted: 15 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Infineon? HSMC? fab? manufacturing plant? India?

Infineon Technologies is likely to be the technology partner in the Indian semiconductor manufacturing plant planned by Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (HSMC). HSMC is a company floated by Devendra Verma, Managing Partner of the California-based investment company, Edgewood.

Although Verma, who is the chairman of HSMC, refused to mention any funding or technology partners for the $4.2 billion venture, saying that there was a non-disclosure agreement, reliable sources suggest Infineon is the most likely as the technology partner in the venture.

A formal announcement is expected later this month.

The fab will focus on four productschipsets for mobile phones, direct-to-home (DTH) TV STBs, automotive and smart cards. The first line, which would represent an investment of $1 billion, is scheduled to use 90nm and 130nm processes and 200mm wafers.

"We have been working with the government for over a year and we would be making the announcement and our technology partners on March 28. We will be filing the application immediately thereafter and about 4-5 weeks later we would be finalizing the location of the fab," Verma said.

Verna has been one of the key players over the past 18 moths championing the case for semiconductor manufacturing in India, meeting with the Union minister of IT and Communications, Dayanidhi Maran.

Sources suggest the Minister will be making the announcement with Verma on March 28. "We were just waiting for the policy to be announced to make our stand on manufacturing clear," Verma added.

He was referring to the announcement late last month about India's long awaited semiconductor manufacturing policy, which paves the way for the country to make its mark on the global semiconductor map.

Commenting on the potential here, Verma added, "Take for instance, Nokia. It manufactures about 50 million phones a year and if you take an average cost of the chipset at $20, you have a minimum market size of $1 billion. And, this is just one company we are talking about. Take cars or DTH chipsets (with DTH cable players being allowed to sell their services in India)if you add up all the chipsets that would go into these products, there is a vast potential here."

Meanwhile the $3 billion Fab city by SemIndia, promoted by a NRI consortium and headed by Vinod Agarwal, is setting up the first phase of its ATMP plant in Hyderbad.

Dr Rajendra Singh, chairman and co-founder of India Electronics Manufacturing Corp is also readying to make an announcement soon. "Once we are fully operational, we would announce when and where we are setting up the fab in India," he said.

Videocon, India's largest consumer durables company, as well as Nest Technologies, a leading IT services company from the south Indian state of Kerala, also announced plans recently to set up foundries in India, following the publication of the semiconductor industry policy last month.

- Sufia Tippu
EE Times Europe

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