Singapore-based IGSS Ventures (IGSSV), one of the applicants under the Centre's $10 billion scheme to seed a semiconductor ecosystem, is holding dialogue with Indian manufacturing entities for partnerships amid scrutiny of its incentive application to build a $3.5 billion foundry fab in India.
IGSSV already has an MoU with Tamil Nadu government’s investment development body TIDCO to build a semiconductor plant in Tamil Nadu, but it is looking for an “experienced Indian mfg/private entity” familiar with infrastructure and bureaucracy affairs.
CEO Raj Kumar told ET he would not like to speculate on the ministry incentive approval timelines—expected in October—but said it would look to seal the deal with the Indian partner by November.
“We already have TIDCO as a reputable Indian partner. What we are trying to achieve is a dream partnership with one of India's top private entities that can help us accelerate Project Suria,” Kumar told ET.
The government is expected to start awarding the first set of incentives under the $10 billion semiconductor package by October or early November.
IGSSV aims to build a factory dubbed in semiconductor parlance as ‘foundry fab’, a plant that manufactures microchips for a variety of users like fabless semiconductor companies, advanced electronics manufacturers, and others. In terms of semiconductor nodes, IGSSV’s factory would incorporate the 28 nm segment—used in smartphones and other gadgets—and several other mature nodes. IGSSV has proposed to create a 300-acre park in Tamil Nadu that would include semiconductor circuit designers, assembly and test ecosystems, and material and equipment suppliers.
Among the criteria laid out by the Centre, the applicant company should have crossed a Rs 7,500-crore revenue target in any of the three years preceding application submission.
IGSSV has also tied up with Belgium-based microelectronics research lab Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) to licence the technology required for its semiconductor nodes.
The Centre has mandated that applicants display production-grade licensed technologies, and a roadmap for advancement into high-tech nodes through product development or acquisition of technology.
In its response to ET, IGSSV has reiterated its stand urging the Centre to adhere to its incentive-approval timelines.
During the MoU signing ceremony in September with the Gujarat government to set up semiconductor and display fab units, Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal had said that the groundbreaking ceremony for the semiconductor plant can be expected in “two-three months”. ET had earlier reported that Foxconn chairman Young Liu was planning an India visit in the latter half of November.
The Centre's Semicon India initiative to set up a semiconductor ecosystem in the country was modified recently tobroad-base the 50% capital subsidy slab across all categories—semiconductor wafer fabs, display panel factories, compound semiconductors, packaging plants, and others.