MALTA, N.Y. It's rare these days in the semiconductor industry to witness the unfolding of a project on a grand scale. Based on what has been proposed so far, the Global Foundries project backed by Advanced Micro Devices and its partner is precisely that.
"We want to be the first truly global semiconductor foundry," said Global Foundries CEO Global Doug Grose at a recent event here, where a ground-breaking ceremony will be held in July.
Global Foundries has committed up to $6 billion to develop a new fab to produce chips for AMD and new customers. AMD and partner, Abu Dhabi-backed Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). "This money is for a five- to seven-year stretch. Our investors [are] in this for the long haul," said Grose.
According to Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist at market researcher In-Stat, "Everything for the future depends on GlobalFoundries' ability to land new customers. Unfortunately, I can't predict that."
Jim Doran, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Dresden, Germany, operation, said Global Foundries will use a Sunnyvale, Calif., facility for technology development and producing process design kits. The U.S. site also will be used for designing intellectual property and chip testing and validation.
Global Foundries also is engaged with neighbors here like the IBM Alliance on submicron research and development.
Global Foundries' 300-mm Fab 1 in Dresden includes a Module 1 used for 45-nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) chips; Module 2 is used for 32-nm and beyond bulk CMOS process technology. Both modules are expected to operate at 25,000 monthly wafer starts at full capacity. Module 2 production will ramp up in late 2009.
The $4.5 billion Fab 2, a 300-mm manufacturing facility in Saratoga County, N.Y., is expected to come online in 2012 with 35,000 wafer starts per month at full capacity. Fab 2 is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs along with about 5,000 spin-off jobs.