| BANGALORE, India — India's goal of establishing its own chip fab moved a step closer to reality with the launch of study by the government's communications and IT ministry. |
Feasibility studies aimed at building a silicon foundry to manufacture next-generation wireless chips have already been started, according to Dayanidhi Maran, minister for communications and information technology.
He said here on Saturday (Oct. 30) that while top leaders backed an Indian foundry, and that "we are moving in the right direction," he added that its premature to conclude that an Indian foundry is forthcoming.
Among other things, the ministry is considering a plan to manufacture RFID devices. India is currently assessing technologies needed to develop a facility to manufacture RFID chips.
Talks with undisclosed companies to launch such a facility have begun, but no decisions have been made, Maran said. The plans "are still in the drawing board stage," he said. Since the investments involved are huge — more than $3 billion — India needs to harness the right technology to set up the facility, he added.
Earlier, the secretary of India's Planning Commission said it was in talks with Intel Corp. to study the possibility of building a fab in India. The ministry is also in talks with other chip makers, and the government has offered to invest a small amount to put in such a facility.