SAN FRANCISCO—Chip foundry Globalfoundries Inc. plans to invest $6 to $8 billion on a semiconductor fab in Abu Dhabi that will break ground in 2012 and begin producing chips in 2015, according to a report by the Bloomberg news service.
The report, which quotes executives from Globalfoundries' Abu Dhabi-based parent company, Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), indicates that ATIC is actively searching for other investment opportunities outside the semiconductor industry. The firm has already evaluated and rejected three investment opportunities worth between $3 billion and $5 billion, according to the report.
ATIC and Globalfoundries have talked of building a fab in Abu Dhabi since ATIC and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) struck a deal to create Globalfoundries through the spinoff of AMD's manufacturing arm in 2009. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that ATIC would spend up to $7 billion to build a fab in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The Bloomberg report arose from a meeting in Abu Dhabi between executives of Globafoundries, AMD and ATIC, which is now a subsidiary or Mubadala Development Co. According to a statement issued by ATIC, the executives gathered to showcase Abu Dhabi's role in future high-tech computing, including details on AMD's upcoming 32-nm Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU), code-named "Llano." The chip will be manufactured for AMD by Globalfoundries.
"The manufacturing of the upcoming Llano APUs are a great proof point to the strategic investment partnership between ATIC, Mubadala, AMD and Globalfoundries in this increasingly global industry," said Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC. "Through investments in Globalfoundries' Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany—where the Llano APU is manufactured—ATIC is driving advances in technology that will meet increasingly sophisticated customer demands and market needs."
According to the Bloomberg report, Globalfoundries will invest about $5.5 billion this year to expand plants in Singapore (formerly Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.), Dresden and New York state.