At 31 percent, Globalfoundries' expected sales growth rate is the largest for any top 20 chip firm in 2012, according to IC Insights. The firm noted that the strong growth projection is expected to come during a year when Advanced Micro Devices Inc.—Globalfoundries original parent company and its largest customer—is forecast to show a steep 17 percent decline in sales. According to IC Insights, Globalfoundries' success in 2012 is being driven mostly by its success in attracting new IC foundry customers, including Qualcomm, STMicroelectronics NV and Freescale Semiconductor Inc.
Overall, the top 20 semiconductor suppliers are forecast to register a 1 percent decline in sales this year, one percentage point better than the rate of decline expected for the total semiconductor market, IC Insights said. Twelve of the top 20 chip suppliers are forecast to register a sales decline this year, including seven of the top 10 largest semiconductor suppliers in the world, according to IC Insights.
Are things really as grim for the semiconductor industries in Japan and Europe as these figures imply?
These numbers also suggest that the overall buzz surrounding Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries is truly warranted.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.