Wednesday, February 21

Israel’s Tower Semiconductor Proposes A Fabrication Plant For $8 Billion In India

Edited by Padmam Ayyappan

Tower Semiconductor, an Israeli company that manufactures chips have placed a proposal worth around $8 billion in India, to build a chip fabrication plant. Though the plan is in the proposal stage now, if it is accepted by the Indian Government, it could be an enhancement to the chip making environment as this would become the first semiconductor company with real fabrication lineage joining the country’s $10 billion chip making scheme, reported the Indian Express.

A Tower Semiconductor proposal is planning to manufacture chips of 65 nanometre and 40 nanometre in the country, which could be used in automotive and wearable electronics, apart from applications in other sectors. In October last year, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar had met Russel C Ellwanger, the CEO of Tower Semiconductor as part of discussions on the matter. The scheme on chips includes 50 percent capital expenditure subsidy, meaning to say that if the Tower Semiconductor Company’s plant has a cost of $ 8 billion, $ 4 billion would be given from the Centre and additional benefits could be given to the company by the State in which the company would be located. The Tower Semiconductor has not responded to any request for comment on the matter so far.

In an earlier move, the company had applied to the scheme with plans to build a plant in Karnataka for $ 3 billion, which was to be partnered with international consortium ISMC. The plan did not take off as expected as the company’s merger with Intel caused delay. The merger plans with Intel also had to be cancelled later, in last August, due to regulatory issues. Intel, the U S giant was to acquire Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion. The Intel-Tower merger caused to pass an antitrust review in the US and other places. Tower Semiconductors specialises in making analog integrated circuits for growing markets in segments such as automotive, medical, consumer, industrial, defence and aerospace among others. The company is an important, leading foundry of high value analog semiconductor solutions which has been placed by TrendForce Q1-Q3 data at the seventh rank in global foundry revenue. The revenue stands at $356 million as per TrendForce and the annual revenue could be over $ 1 billion, said the Business Today.  Since 2013-2014, Tower has been expressing its interest in becoming a part of the Indian Semiconductor ecosystem.

More on semiconductors, on Friday, the CG Power and Industrial Solutions announced a joint venture with California based Renesas Electronics America and Thailand based Stars Microelectronics to build a semiconductor assembly and testing plant in the country.

In an earlier development, Micron Technology, the US chip manufacturer had announced an $825 million investment plan in Gujarat, to build a new assembly and test facility. This has been planed in two phases. Last month, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said that Micron would bring out its first chip by the month of December, this year.