On a visit to India, CEO of Tower Semiconductor Russell C. Elwanger He met Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajiv Chandrasekhar on Monday, along with holding discussions with other officials of the ministry.
The tower, which has completed an industrial park off Mysore as its site, wants rapid approval of the central incentives for its application as part of the ISMC Analog consortium, where Next
“The gist of the discussions was about when the applications would be processed, and the reason given was the fact that there was no appropriate leadership in the ISM to make recommendations to the ministry,” said a person familiar with the discussions firsthand.
The Department of Information Technology, Tower Semiconductor and Next Orbit Ventures had not responded to ET’s emails as of press time on Tuesday.
An industry representative familiar with the dialogue between government and industry over incentives said that “all proposals are being closely scrutinized, and we should be able to get some clarity in about two months.”
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ISM, set up under the Digital India Corporation, operates as an independent business division of the Ministry of Information Technology. According to his website, he is tasked with negotiating with applicants and deciding on several key criteria that will determine the incentivized recipient: appropriate technology mix, applicants, node size/generation, etc.
The government announced the creation of the ISM and the incentive scheme in December last year.
The center also created an advisory committee comprising bureaucrats, industry and academia to advise ISM executives. A member of the advisory committee told ET on condition of anonymity that it has not held a formal meeting since its inception in April, although its members are in constant dialogue about the plans.
“We will meet soon and there will be a decision very soon on the CEO of ISM as well,” the member said.
Veteran semiconductor industry analyst and analyst Aaron Mambazi said that having strong leadership at the ISM would serve a purpose beyond liquidating off-the-shelf offers.
“Review and mentoring should be conducted on an ongoing basis for approved turnkey manufacturing business. Several turnkey products are needed to reach a significant share in the global market, and Indian design talent should be tuned towards products, rather than just service-based efforts. All this needs strong leadership in ISM.
Intel said in February that it was buying Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion, giving it a chance closer to the foundry market with an addressable market size of $100 billion.
It added that the deal is expected to expire within 12 months, and the tower will be operated independently with Elwanger at the helm.
Besides the analog ISMC consortium,
Foxconn has also placed orders for semiconductor modules and fab displays. Meanwhile, Singapore-based IGSS Ventures has chosen Tamil Nadu to set up the Rs 25,000 crore semiconductor park.