Ed’s Threads 070511Musings by Ed Korczynski on May 11, 2007India scripts future for Fab City
As I recently wrote in this blog space (see “Turn-key fabs for India”
, April 6, 2007), India may soon be joining the world of “fab-ulous” nations. On May 10, “Dr. YSR” Reddy, Chief Minister of the government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP)
, and a delegation of IT ministers and advisors
were in Silicon Valley to meet the actor governor of California,
and also to promote their state as a place for high-tech investment. Andhra Pradesh (AP) claims an information technology (IT) growth rate of 50%-55%, the lowest electricity cost in India, and good water resources.
In particular, Hyderabad boasts of a new international airport to be operational by March 2008, an eight-lane outer-ring road and a metro-rail transport system also being built. “With our resources—which are better than many states in the country—we will support the first fabs in India.” said Reddy. “We want to make the infrastructure world-class, and this is being worked out now.”
Dr. C.S. Rao, IT advisor for GoAP, provided additional details of the infrastructure priorities. AP has been very successful in pharmaceutical manufacturing, so there is confidence in the same result for semiconductor manufacturing. “GoAP believes strongly that chip manufacturing in AP will generate hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in AP, and this is one of the reasons it is a very high priority for us,” informed Rao. “These are very exciting times for AP to get in on the ground floor of this opportunity and become a leader in India.”
A semiconductor fab requires uninterrupted electricity and water to properly function, and the GoAP understands that supply of these resources will be critical. “GoAP is simultaneously prioritizing the rural sector and the manufacturing sector in AP,” explained Rao. “Therefore the best way to meet these priorities is not sacrifice one for the other but instead have enough supply of water, power, land, etc. so that these priorities can be met simultaneously.”GoAP has issued orders that 10% of water in all irrigation projects in the State should be reserved for industrial uses, but there are many active and developing industries in addition to the Fab city project in Maheswaram in Ranga Reddy. A short list includes: two IT parks, one IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ), one hardware SEZ, one IT industrial park, and a gems and jewelry park.
Despite conflicting requirements for basic resources, the government seems to have set proper priorities to establish semiconductor fabs. GoAP has already committed to installing by the end of this year a pipeline capable of carrying dedicated capacity of 20 million gallons of water/day for multiple fabs and other manufacturing in Fab City. "This pipeline is already started to be laid out and will be done,” said Rao. “There is no conflict here.”
Regarding the electric power, up to 200 MW of power is being made available for Fab City with two different grid lines. “Again, the commitment by the government of Andhra Pradesh is total and comprehensive,” said Rao, noting that the government of AP will be minor partners in projects spanning the 1200 acres of Fab City. Though 200 MW is a great amount of power, it will be easily consumed by a handful of fabs and supporting businesses.
A typical 200mm fab with 20,000 wafer starts/month (WSPM) fab consumes ~130 kWh/yr of electricity, according to a World Wide Fab Energy Survey Report published by International SEMATECH (Technology Transfer # 99023669B-ENG, June 30, 1999). Assuming steady consumption, average 200mm fabs thus need ~17 MW of electricity to run. Applying the 1.5x rule for 300mm tool scaling, most 300mm fabs would consume (1.5 x 17) ~25 MW for 20,000 WSPM; however, since most 300mm fabs are scaled to >30,000 WSPM their typical power needs scale proportionally to >38 MW continuous power.
It looks like the first commercial chip-making facility in FabCity will be a SEMindia test and assembly line (i.e., “die-based final manufacturing”) supposedly breaking ground within weeks. Test and assembly lines typically don’t consume nearly as much power and water as IC fabs (i.e., “wafer-based manufacturing”) and they are really quite different manufacturing environments, though still part of the “chip-making ecosystem.” SEMindia still plans to eventually startup an IC fab in Fab City, but a start date is currently tentative since partner AMD has slowed capex spending.
The first IC fab in Fab City is supposedly again going to be that of Nano-Tech Silicon India Ltd. (NTSI), a start-up led by South Korean businessman/technologist Dr. Jun Min. NTSI has been trying to close financing for at least two years, and though the company had at one point claimed Intel Capital was an investor, as of today no official relationship seems to exist between the two
. Rao told WaferNEWS that Min is “doubly confidant that he will be able to have financial closures with prospective investors in the next 90 days” -- but the basic structure of the project has been scaled down, with phase1 capacity plan reduced from 30,000 WSPM to 20,000 WSPM. An entire used 200mm tool set can be acquired for <$50 million these days, so maybe the NTSI project will now finally move forward.
Many details remain to be resolved with specific projects, but at least the government seems to have a clear policy of support for fabs, and it now seems to be a race to first silicon. Will NTSI get its financing together in time? Will HSMC and Infineon get its turn-key fab up and running first? Will SEMindia and AMD find money for a fab? One way or the other, it now looks like Fab City in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh should be producing ICs on silicon wafers within two years.
Labels: fab, Fab City, HSMC, Hyderabad, India, NTSI, SEMindia
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070511: India scripts future for Fab City