Tata reportedly exploring partnership with UMC or PSMC for chipmaking venture

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

As Tata Group is setting up its chipmaking facility, Indian media reported that Tata might try to find a Taiwan-based technology partner, possibly the third Taiwan-India collaboration on semiconductors, if the rumor materializes.

The Economic Times quoted sources saying that Tata was considering partnering with Taiwan-based PSMC or UMC for a chipmaking facility at Dholera, Gujarat. Tata aims to make chips on the 65nm node before moving to 48nm and 28nm technologies.

According to the report, Tata has completed the details regarding the land for the plant and is expected to commence construction shortly. The initial monthly capacity is estimated to be 25,000 wafers. PSMC and UMC did not confirm the rumor.

N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Group, announced in January that the group is set to establish a large semiconductor fabrication plant at Dholera, aiming to commence operations in 2024. Meanwhile, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for electronics and IT of India, said the Assam government is expected to partner with Tata Group for an INR250 (US$3 billion) ATMP facility.

India has seen surging investments from Taiwan-based companies and a series of collaborations between Indian and Taiwanese companies in recent years. Regarding semiconductors, Foxconn was the first among Taiwan-based companies to invest in the Indian semiconductor ecosystem, followed by Innolux, which collaborated with Vedanta Group for an 8.5-gen panel factory in Gujarat.

In January 2023, Frank Huang, chairman of PSMC, said the company agreed to help India build a wafer fab from scratch, with the Indian side offering the required capital and PSMC providing training and other support. However, in June 2023, Huang said it's not easy for the company to assist in helping India build a fab, and it requires more time as India has to begin everything anew about the chip ecosystem.

Still, after PSMC's cautiousness about chipmaking collaboration in India, in January 2024, Foxconn partnered with the HCL Group to set up an OSAT facility in India after its joint venture with Vedanta fell apart. In February, Taiwan-based Aptos Technology, a subsidiary of Taiwan Mask, announced a collaboration with India-based Kaynes Semicon Private Limited on training and technology licensing in the OSAT area.