Tower Semiconductor Proposes to Set Up 65nm and 40nm Chip-Fabs in India

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It’s speculated that Tower Semiconductors’ new proposal includes a partnership with the BC Jindal group while Next Orbit Ventures may dispute the new proposal.

Israeli semiconductor manufacturer, Tower Semiconductors, has again proposed to establish a semiconductor fabrication plant in India for the production of 65 nm and 40 nm chips.

It’s speculated that Tower Semiconductors’ new proposal includes a partnership with the BC Jindal group, known for its significant presence in the packaging and labelling sector. An NDA was reportedly signed with the BC Jindal group, part of ISMC, and there was an agreement with Tower that Next Orbit Ventures would be their partner in any Indian fabrication unit.

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The company is facing potential legal challenges from its former joint venture partner, Next Orbit Ventures based in Abu Dhabi, which is contemplating a lawsuit against Tower Semiconductors for submitting a new proposal with a different partner. Led by Ajay Jalan, Next Orbit Ventures may dispute the new proposal, alleging that it violates the terms of their prior agreement with Tower Semiconductors.

Tower’s initial attempt to penetrate the Indian market stalled despite confirming a joint venture with ISMC (International Semiconductor Consortium) Analog Fab Private for a $3 billion chip fabrication unit. The chip-maker’s previous joint venture (JV) plan with ISMC was abandoned following Intel’s failed $5.4 billion acquisition of Tower, which did not receive regulatory approval.

CEO Russell C Ellwanger and other high-level executives from the Israeli chipmaker recently met with officials from the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) and the India Semiconductor Mission. Tower Semiconductor has discussed its negotiations with various Indian companies, but nothing definitive has emerged yet. Tower might independently enter India’s chip fabrication market if a suitable partner is not found.

Recognized as a top global producer of analog semiconductor chips, Tower has previously assisted the Indian government in planning the 180 nm chip plant at the Semi-Conductor Laboratory in Mohali.

The Tower-ISMC JV was one of the initial three firms competing for incentives under the $10 billion India Semiconductor Mission, offering a flat 50% incentive for semiconductor fabrication units, ATMP, and OSAT. Vedanta and Taiwan’s Foxconn, along with Singapore’s IGSS Ventures, were among the first applicants for this incentive-backed program in India.

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