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Former TI execs behind India's $1B analogue fab

Posted: 17 Feb 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wafer fabs  Make in India  manufacturing 

Next on the two-man team is Mark Harward. With over 25 years in the semiconductor industry, and 14 U.S. patents, he has spent over eight years at TI, working in the R&D Group's VLSI Design Labs and managed new product development in the Semiconductor Group's ASIC business. Since 1994, he has been a serial entrepreneur, founding TestChip Technologies in 1994, which focused on automating the development of test chips used in silicon technology development, and was acquired by HPL Technologies.

Intriguing India-Dallas analogue link

Now comes the most interesting part. While Harward was at TestChip Technologies, he co-founded Karnataka Microelectronic (KarMic) Design Centre, Pvt. Ltd, in 1999, an India-based company focused on the design of analogue and mixed-signal ICs, where he continues to serve as CEO.

KarMic Design Centre has been in the industry for over a decade. Its 300-strong design services team has expertise in analogue, RF, mixed signal, memory and high performance digital domains and has two centres in India and one in Dallas, Texas.

Way back in 1999, Mark Harward and Shivaling Mahantshetti, who is known as the father of analogue in India (a former TI veteran as well), had come together to establish KarMic, which was slowly but silently building a pool of analogue engineers in India. Today, Mahantshetti, who has over 60 patents and over 25 years of the analogue space, is the chair emeritus of KarMic and is now focusing primarily on teaching the new generation of students the principles of semiconductor design, as managing director of Karnataka Microelectronic Research & Training Centre Pvt Ltd.

So, probably something could come out of it.

1. The investment of $1 billion is on the lower side compared to $10 billion earmarked for the earlier two fabs. However, as Cricket's Hutter said in a press statement:

  • India has a large and fast growing electronics market. A speciality wafer fab focused on analogue/power semiconductors is well suited to catalyse the Indian Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) ecosystem. We are confident that we can establish a high-volume, globally competitive speciality wafer fab in India.

    This project differs fundamentally from typical wafer fab projects in several ways. The project outlay, at around $1 billion is less than less than 1/10th of a leading edge digital fab. The emphasis will be on processes and technologies that align to Indian as well as global requirements such as industrial and automotive. Importantly, the cost of analogue / power semiconductor product development is significantly less than digital semiconductor products. This lowers the investment entry barrier for Indian entrepreneurs to bring innovative products to the market, stimulating the ESDM ecosystem and leading to the creation of many thousands of jobs.

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