Tata Electronics has announced the appointment of Dr Randhir Thakur, a former Intel executive and leading figure in the semiconductor industry, as CEO and MD.

Till recently, Dr Thakur was heading Intel Foundry Services as its president and has worked with Intel for over five years.

In early 2021, Intel revitalised its contract chip manufacturing business and renamed it Intel Foundry Services intending to compete with TSMC and Samsung, the world’s two largest contract chip manufacturers that make chips for the likes of Intel rivals, including AMD, Nvidia, and Apple.

Intel Foundry Services(IFS) is part of CEO Pat Gelsinger’s plan for the semiconductor giant to double down on manufacturing and surpass TSMC and Samsung in advanced chipmaking by 2025 as part of its so-called IDM 2.0 strategy.

Through IFS, Intel aims to become a major provider of US and Europe-based foundry capacity to serve the global demand for semiconductor manufacturing.

Dr Thakur oversaw a key part of Intel’s comeback plan via its contract chip manufacturing business.

Intel plans to boost its foundry business ambition through its $5.4 billion acquisition of Israeli chip manufacturer Tower Semiconductor, which specialises in making high-value analog semiconductor components for markets such as automotive, medical, industrial, consumer, aerospace and defence.

Coincidentally Tower Semiconductors is also part of the International Semiconductor Consortium (ISMC), which is one of the three applicants for incentives for silicon-based semiconductor fabs under the schemes announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in December 2021. ISMC has proposed a 65nm analog-centric Silicon fab in Mysuru, Karnataka.

Tata’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Ambitions?

Dr Thakur joining Tata Electronics comes amid reports that the group is foraying into Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Testing (OSAT) business.

In an interview with Nikkei, Tata Sons Chairman Chandrasekharan hinted that the group is considering the possibility of “eventually launching an upstream chip fabrication platform”. 

 “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Thakur as part of the Tata Group. The roadmap for Tata Electronics is exciting and Dr. Thakur’s in-depth knowledge and multi-functional experience will bode well for the company. I am confident that under his leadership, Tata Electronics will lead India to take its rightful position in the global semiconductor and precision manufacturing industry”. Chandrasekaran said welcoming Dr Thakur to Tata fold.

Dr Thakur has previously held leadership and technical positions at Applied Materials Inc., SanDisk Corp., and also across the semiconductor industry in STEAG Electronic Systems and Micron Technology Inc.

Born in Himachal Pradesh, Dr Thakur is an electronics and telecommunications engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India, has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2013. He holds more than 300 patents in the semiconductor field.

Tata Group Hires Former Intel Foundry Head Dr Randhir Thakur Amid Plans To Foray In To Semiconductor Chip Manufacturing