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Tower in talks with India chip manufacturing groups

Posted: 28 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Tower fab technology? chip manufacturing? India groups?

Pure-play Israeli fab Tower Semiconductor Ltd is currently in talks with SemIndia Inc. and Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (HSMC), two leading proponents of Indian chip manufacturing. Talks center on the two companies also making use of Tower's manufacturing capability.

Rafi Nave, Tower's chief technology officer, told EE Times that "Tower brings to the cooperation with the Indian companies an offering which includes special areas such as CMOS sensors, which can be found in mobile phones, alongside automotive and medical applications. Other expertise we have is in radio frequency, where we have simulation and process capabilities and intellectual property for areas such as RFID."

SemIndia was formed by expatriate Indian nationals in the United States to work with the Indian government, state governments and other strategic partners and customers to create a wafer fab in India. SemIndia is planning to build a fab in Hyderabad or in Bangalore.

Technology partnership
Infineon Technologies AG signed a memorandum of understanding with startup HSMC for a technology partnership in March 2007, with Infineon licensing its 130nm CMOS process technology to HSMC.

HSMC's first fab is expected to be designed to use 200mm diameter wafers. This site will require investments of approximately $1 billion. In addition, HSMC plans to erect a second fab, intended to process 300mm diameter wafers, which will require another $3.2 to $3.5 billions of investment.

First products from HSMC are expected to roll within two years. According to Hagay Dvir, VP of business development at Tower, "The Indian government has recently boosted its support for companies and investors. HSMC is actually an investment organization, which draws a significant part of its knowledge and capital from Indians who live outside of India."

"Our next breakthrough will be based on unique technologies and customization, and will take advantage of the fact that IDMs are outsourcing their knowledge and technologies," Dvir added.

- Amir Ben-Artzi
EE Times Europe

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