GlobalFoundries to boost capex in '11
9/2/2010 8:15 PM EDT
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Several fab tool vendors are lining up for orders at GlobalFoundries Inc., as the silicon foundry upstart is boosting its capital spending.
Applied, ASML, KLA-Tencor, Lam, Nikon, Novellus, Varian and others are expected to obtain orders at GlobalFoundries' fabs as well as a new plant in New York state, according to analysts. Nanometrics, Nova Measuring and others are also looking to grab business.
GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC, and, to a smaller degree, UMC, are embroiled in a capital spending war in the foundry segment.
''We believe GlobalFoundries will continue to ramp capacity over the next few quarters despite a weakening macro environment,'' said Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co. LLC, in a report. ''We estimate GlobalFoundries' capex will grow from about $2.6 billion in 2010 to $3.0-$4.0 billion in 2011, driven by multiple fab expansions, including a pulled-in schedule for the green field Fab 8 in Saratoga, New York.''
As reported, the company is building a huge, 300-mm fab in upstate New York. The company is taking orders for the fab.
Like its rivals, GlobalFoundries' capacity is tight—and business remains strong—despite a sudden slowdown in select chip markets.
''Management stated that demand for its leading edge capacities is strong between now through November, although it sees some signs of moderation in December. GlobalFoundries' fabs are running 'very full now,' especially at 45-nm. Capacity is so tight that some orders have to be transferred from the Singapore Fab 7 to the Dresden Fab 1 in order to meet demand,'' Mok said.
The company appears to be pulling in its capacity ramp schedule. ''GlobalFoundries provided very aggressive capacity targets of doubling its 300-mm capacity in two years and tripling in four years,'' he said. ''The company is accelerating a 300-mm capacity expansion in all three fabs, increasing 300-mm capacity from about 50 kwspm currently to over 100 kwspm by 4Q '11. The shell of its New York Fab 8 will be completed by the end of this month, and we believe equipment move-in will start in 2011. Dresden Fab 1 expansion (to 80 kwspm) is expected to come online in mid-2011 and be completed in 2012, and Singapore Fab 8 expansion (to 50 kwspm) will be completed in 1H '11.''
In 2009, the chip-manufacturing arm from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) was spun off into a new foundry company. The foundry spinoff, GlobalFoundries, is a joint venture between AMD and Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC).
ATIC plans to boost its stake in GlobalFoundries from about 68 percent to 70 percent. Over time, ATIC will take the entire stake in GlobalFoundries from AMD. In September, ATIC agreed to acquire Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. for a total of $3.9 billion. Chartered is being folded into GlobalFoundries.
In 2010, several fab tool vendors are expected to win business at the company. On the lithography side, ASML Holding NV and Nikon Corp. are expected to obtain orders. Traditionally, Chartered procured scanners from ASML. AMD bought scanners from Nikon.
GlobalFoundries is expected to take 3-to-4 193-nm immerson tools from ASML in 2010, and 1-to-2 systems from Nikon, according to analysts. The foundry will buy etchers from Lam Research Corp., implanters from Varian Equipment Associates, and deposition gear from Applied Materials Inc. and Novellus Systems Inc., they added.
KLA-Tencor Corp. will get inspection tool orders. ''GlobalFoundries highlighted the use of scatterometry optical metrology (OCD) in improving the 45-nm SiGe formation process. The comments confirmed our belief that OCD is starting to replace CD-SEM at the leading edge,'' Mok said.
''While GlobalFoundries currently uses KLA's OCD solution, we believe both Nova and Nanometrics are actively engaged with this customer and at least one of these companies (maybe both) has a good chance of winning the OCD business at the 28-nm node,'' he added.