Analog/Mixed Signal

U.S. Chip Firm Pledges $1 Billion for Analog Fab in India

13 February 2015

Cricket Semiconductor LLC, a U.S.-based chip firm established last year, has pledged to invest about $1 billion to set up India’s first analog wafer fab, the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) said Friday (Feb. 13).

According to the IESA, the fab will be based in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The government of Madhya Pradesh earlier this month approved an analog semiconductor investment policy that provides free land and other economic incentives for chip firms to build fabs in the state.

According to Cricket Semiconductor’s website, the company’s goal is to create a high-volume production fab in India and establish a strategic partnership with a leading specialty foundry. Cricket Semiconductor is headed by Lou Hutter, a 35-year semiconductor industry veteran with Texas Instruments Inc. and South Korea’s Dongbu Hitek.

“India has a large and fast growing electronics market,” Hutter said in a statement issued by the IESA.

Hutter added that a specialty wafer fab focused on analog and power semiconductors is well suited to catalyze the Indian electronics system design and manufacturing ecosystem. “We are confident that we can establish a high-volume, globally competitive specialty wafer fab in India,” Hutter said.

Cricket Semiconductor did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“The specialty fab will enable the electronics industry to better utilize the Indian skill sets,” Ashok Chandak, chairman of the IESA, in the same statement. Chandak added that the fab would also spur technology development in India at lower cost.

India has been trying to establish a domestic semiconductor industry for over a decade. Last year, the Indian government formally approved plans to establish two digital wafer fabs in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Gujurat. These fabs are being built by two consortiums—one including IBM Corp. and Tower Semiconductor Ltd. and the other including STMicroelectronics NV and Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. Total investment in these two fabs is estimated to be worth more than $10 billion.

India consumes close to $7 billion worth of semiconductors every year and this is expected to expand to $55 billion by 2020, according to the IESA.

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