Tata hires former boss of Intel foundry services

Tata hires former boss of Intel foundry services

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

The Indian conglomerate Tata Group has employed former Intel executive Randhir Thakur to be CEO of its subsidiary set up to enter semiconductor manufacturing.

Tata Group makes everything from steel to automobiles. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the board, announced the company was planning to enter the semiconductor industry back in August 2021 (see Tata plans to make semiconductors in India). However, few details of Tata’s plans have been given subsequently.

One possibility is that the company may start with semiconductor packaging. In November 2021 it was reported that Tata was actively seeking a location for a semiconductor assembly and test plant (see Tata in talks over $300 million Indian chip packaging factory). Potential clients of a Tata assembly and test business could include companies such as Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and STMicroelectronics, the report said.

Thakur was the head of Intel Foundry Services but announced his intention to quit in November 2022 after Intel had agreed to buy speciality foundry Tower Semiconductor (see Intel’s foundry boss is set to move on). Intel’s acquisition of Tower appears stuck due to the inactivity of Chinese regulators.

Tata Electronics Pvt. Ltd. (TEPL) is Tata Group’s vehicle for entry into electronic components and semiconductor manufacturing. It makes domestic precision machining, including the manufacture of iPhone components.

M&A and JVs

Thakur has a wealth of experience in global manufacturing, R&D, and general management. Reports quote a Tata statement saying Thakur can supply Tata with experience in: ecosystem leadership, process technology equipment, driving M&A and joint ventures, and product development.

Tata should be able to benefit from an Indian government incentive program, which was announced in December 2021 (see Report: India plans $10 billion semiconductor subsidy). However, the wheels of Indian administration turn exceptionally slowly and the few projects that are aimed at building wafer fabs in India have come under criticism for not including inward investors who have competence in building and running wafer fabs.

The subsidies are expected to favour fabs aimed at processes behind the leading edge as well as other parts of the semiconductor supply chain, such as displays and OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test).

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Tata plans to make semiconductors in India

Tata in talks over $300 million Indian chip packaging factory

ST linked to Indian fab project as former NXP exec appointed

Report: India plans $10 billion semiconductor subsidy

Report: Next Orbit to sell stake in Indian wafer fab venture

NXP is urging TSMC, Globalfoundries to set up in India

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