International semiconductor consortium ISMC, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based fund manager Next Orbit Ventures and Israel's Tower Semiconductor, a leading foundry in high-value analogue semiconductor solutions, reportedly plans to invest $3 billion in India's southern Karnataka state to set up a chip-making plant.
ISMC has requested 150 acres of land in Mysuru’s Kochanahalli industrial area. This 65nm analogue semiconductor fabrication plant will be one of India’s first and largest semiconductor fabrication units under the central government’s Indian Semiconductor Mission, once the project gets government approval.
The Semiconductor Mission aims to formulate and drive India’s long-term strategies for developing semiconductors and display manufacturing facilities and a semiconductor design ecosystem.
ISMC says that its project is expected to generate more than 1,500 direct and 10,000 indirect employment opportunities and ancillary semiconductor ecosystem industry development in the area, with significant multiplier effects.
It also seems that US chip giant Intel could eventually own a piece of the new plant, given its recently announced plans to acquire Tower for $5.4 billion in a deal that is set to close by early next year.
ISMC is not alone. Indian conglomerate Vedanta Ltd has also shown interest in the prime minister's $10 billion incentive plan to encourage companies to set up semiconductor and display operations in India.
Vedanta has apparently told Reuters that it is advanced talks with Gujarat and Maharashtra in west India and Telangana in the south to choose a site. It reportedly has a planned investment outlay of $20 billion for its semiconductor and display push.
If the Indian government is right, this is a sound industry to promote in the coming years. It has said that the country’s semiconductor market is forecast to grow to $63 billion by 2026 from $15 billion in 2020.