LONDON Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) is holding talks with the foundry chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), according to reports.
The manufacturing capacity of GlobalFoundries, majority owned by Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), is based on the wafer fabs formerly owned by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) in Dresden, Germany. But the company has wafer fab under construction in New York state and plans to take over Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing.
It should come as no surprise that ARM is talking with GlobalFoundries as the company already has deals in place with foundry market leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) to ease access to its cores for fabless chip companies.
However, the move does indicate that GlobalFoundries is being taken seriously and could reach the second tier of foundry companies quickly and could take some market share from TSMC. GlobalFoundries has already signed up to act as an outsource agent for STMicroelectronics.
"Global Foundries will be a viable alternative to TSMC," the Taipei Times quoted Kevin Smith, a vice president of marketing at ARM, as saying during a media gathering in Taipei. ARM expects its processors to be on 32-nanometer in 2010, he was also reported saying.
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