Thursday, 13 July 2023, Bengaluru, India
After successfully sharing ideas and creating memories together for almost a year, it was time for two separate adventures for the two semiconductor specialists, Vedanta and Foxconn. Vedanta and Foxconn had been together for nearly a year and were eyeing a possible change in the semiconductor reality by turning an idea into reality together.
Vedanta and Foxconn cut ties a day after Vedanta Foxconn Semiconductors resubmitted its application for setting up a 40 nanometer (nm) fabrication unit proposal to the India Semiconductor Mission.
It may seem strange but Foxconn indeed parted ways with Vedanta on a $19.5 billion chipmaking joint venture. After Foxconn’s exit, Vedanta is looking for a new partner to run its semiconductor missions in the country. The partnership, though short-timed, was a crucial part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chipmaking plans for India.
New reports have come in that may keep Modi’s hopes alive as Foxconn is committed to India and is stubborn to apply to its own unit in the country. Foxconn, in its official statement, said that people from both sides weren’t happy with the progress and other challenging things to figure out a solution for.
Foxconn can do whatever they like and whenever they feel like doing, but at the moment, Vedanta is in a crisis. With promises to fulfill India’s semiconductor mission, Vedanta is short of a partner with the right knowledge. Vedanta is currently looking for a partner, and if it doesn’t find one, Vedanta might have to run solo in this mission.
While Vedanta’a journey seems like it isn’t over, it very well might be if it doesn’t find a production-grade technology partner to work with them in the mission as it is one of the prerequisites for project approval and qualifying for the incentive.
After Foxconn’s exit, Vedanta is alone in the journey, and this is what the President of VLSI Society, Satya Gupta has to say, “Vedanta will submit their application solo. Their main problem now will be who will the customer for their wafers. They have to address this problem.”
Gupta has a valid point and Anil Agarwal-led metal conglomerate Vedanta does not have an answer. The key to the problem here is to have an ample amount of expertise in semiconductors or electronics. Foxconn was the part that would have helped Vedanta here.
But with Foxconn out, Vedanta lacks the necessary expertise in this area. With Foxconn in the picture, things would have been different. Foxconn’s overseas relations with different tech partners would play a key role in securing orders for the semiconductors produced at the unit.
While things are still under development, it is hard to say what is going on behind the curtains with Vedanta and its partner (if any). Though there is still time, Vedanta doesn’t want to make it late enough for another player to enter the picture and make life difficult for them in the industry.