Senior executives from Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) have been meeting Indian government officials to discuss plans for building a foundry wafer fab in India, according to local reports.
Talks come as the executives are no longer encumbered by a planned acquisition by chip market giant Intel (see Intel drops Tower acquisition).
A management team from Tower, led by CEO Russell Ellwanger, met India’s Minister of State for IT and Electronics, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, last week, according to India’s Business Standard publication.
A senior government official told that publication that Tower executives met four or five Indian companies, “but we believe there is not much response to the proposal from these.”
Elsewhere there has been a report that India’s oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries is considering the acquisition of Tower Semiconductor, although that report also included a denial from a Reliance spokesperson.
Tower had been active alongside an Abu Dhabi based venture capital firm in a plan to for India Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (see Tower JV signs agreement to build Indian wafer fab). That plan covered the building of a US$3 billion wafer fab to make analog circuits on 65nm manufacturing process. The joint venture applied for a grant under the central Indian government’s $10 billion chip incentive scheme (see India details wafer fab subsidy scheme favoring 28nm).
Last year, Reliance was rumoured to be interested in purchasing a stake in semiconductor wafer fab applicant ISMC. ISMC’s Bengaluru facility was expected to create 1,500 direct jobs as well as 10,000 indirect jobs.
Tower’s CEO Ellwanger was quoted by this publication in 2017 saying India would eventually get its own local chip manufacturing.