Paris: Air Liquide’s electronics division will soon supply specialty gases for Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (HSMC), India’s first maker of semiconductors, the French industrial gases said on 29 March.
The agreement makes Air Liquide the first in its sector to deliver gases for the electronics industry in India and requires an investment of $26.68 mn.
It will supply gases, gas and chemical distribution systems and related services to HSMC’s first chip facility where it will make 200 millimetre wafers used in semiconductors.
“India is our first step (for electronics) and it won’t be the last one. It already has a network of companies that design chips,” Christophe Fontaine, Air Liquide Vice President of Electronics said.
HSMC’s factory will be set up in a yet-to-be created high-tech park in Chennai, Hyderabad or in Bangalore (location will be known in a few weeks) providing Air Liquide with opportunities to win deals from other companies.
India has been a top country in terms of design of chips, manufacturing was the missing part, he said. With a population of more than 1 billion, its chip industry is only beginning to develop. Demand for semiconductors is projected to reach $36 bn by 2015, according to estimates released by India’s ministry for communication and information technology.
Chips, used in cars, mobile phones or ID cards, are made in a clean or almost dust-free room and fluids used to help make them are ultra-pure gases like nitrogen, which protects against impurities and oxidation in chip and soldering process.
India and Russia have only recently started making chips. The world’s main chip makers are the United States, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
He infact anticipates that 10 - 15% of worldwide semiconductor production would be coming from India in less than 10 years.