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HCL Tech aims to double semiconductor biz in 4 years

IT company HCL Technologies expects to double its semiconductor services business in 3-4 years following capabilities that it will develop around electronic chip plants to be set by its group firm, a senior company official said in Barcelona.

HCL Group is among the companies that have applied to set up electronic chip plants under the “Scheme for Compound Semiconductors” and HCL Technologies will assist HCL Corporate in end-to-end processing of chips.

“One of the focus sectors for HCL Technologies, especially in engineering services is semi chip. Our plan is to double our business. There is an internal plan to do it in a period of three to four years. I say only three to four because it is ongoing and we see demand enough to do that,” HCL Technologies executive vice president and BU head Ameer Saithu told PTI.

He said that HCL Group’s semiconductor wafer fab can be built in about 18-24 months time from the date the government approves its application.

“We are ready with funds. Just to be clear, again, it is happening from HCL Corporate. From my perspective, which is HCL Tech, we are interested in developing capabilities in that space and we see that as a very big opportunity,” he said.

HCL Group is planning to set up a chip wafer fabrication unit for 65 nanometre nodes that are used in automobile, consumer durables and low-cost devices segment.

HCL Technologies currently works with semiconductor players like Intel, NXP, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC, and Applied Materials in the electronic chip production.

Saithu said that HCL’s semiconductor plant will help HCL Technologies to complete its end-to-end offering in electronic production.

“Right now in some of these activities, we are using partners. Whether it is a Global Foundry or TSMC, we are a partner. With this investment, we expect to be able to provide end-to-end service with HCL corporate as a partner. In a sense, you can say it is moving up the value chain but it is more and more of completing the offerings. So that fabless semiconductor company, who do not want to be dealing with multiple partners, they can come to us,” Saithu said.

He said that the demand for HCL Tech semiconductor services has increased globally and the company has started building capabilities in Brazil, Vietnam, Israil, the Netherlands and Japan while it continues to grow manpower in its Bengaluru office.

“We are trying to increase the size of the pool available, rather than the same people going from one place to another. We have also established a very large scale training programme with multiple customers involved in different skill sets within this industry,” Saithu said. PTI

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