Good news, their 20nm process could offer the best bet for companies other than intel to remain competitive in the market without depending too much on TSMC. But this foundry consolidation is imminent. Samsung will not be holding on to their fabs for too long either.
@mark.lapedus: to answer your question, they have a good chance to make it considering that the theme today was collaboration with partners like the news today with ARM that they taped out a dual core ARM cortex A9 in 28nm (http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/press-release/armh_globalfoundries-launches-industry-s-first-28nm-arm-cortex-a9-processor-platform-with-gate-first-high-1145834.html). They also will develop Flash technology with Freescale, also announced today. The 28nm 'Gate first' HKMG technology will deliver 10-20% improved die size and cost over gate last, and allows true scaling 100% density increase over 40nm. Given that they are building capacity, have resources, lined up partners, are fully behind 3D TSV, are on their way to have test chips in 2H2011 in 20nm, it looks like they have the right plan and they can make it if they execute.
I like the fact that Global Foundries is trying to change the foundry world... it is good for our industry since it will cause their competitors to innovate too.
But its an execution nightmare. See what they have on their table: 45nm SOI, 40nm bulk, 32nm SOI, 28nm bulk, 22nm (SOI?), 20nm bulk, and a major part of these in three flavours: high performance, low-power and high-performance plus. Adding to this, they are trying to develop MEMS, NVM, analog, etc.
When people are struggling to get one 40nm technology up and running with good yield, these guys are being too ambitious! I wish them luck, but if I were the CEO there, would keep the company focused on a few things and do these things well.
The technical side, as proposed, seems to be nearly impossible to even visualize. Focus is not the strong point of this company, it also suggests management believes there is an endless supply of sacrificial capital. Perhaps the UAE investors are willing to spend unlimited amount of resources?
The financial aspect, based in losing money in every single product Globalfoundries ship, with losses exceeding 75% of its revenue, and a lousy balance sheet; is a complete delusion unless they can sell ATIC on funding them to the end of the times. Have they already done so?
What will TSMC do?
It does not look good for Globalfoundries. They seem to be imploding; or just a quarter away from it.
I believe GF will ultimately lead the way in the foundry business. Their owners (ATIC) have deep pockets and have no shareholders to worry about :-) They can take the short term losses for the sake of long term dominance.
Dear Goafit ... "I think they will fail because building factories is not a good model. This is capital intensive with minimal returns. I see no good value in this strategy" ... an interesting philosophy. So just who exactly is supposed to build factories and make the chips ??? Are you suggesting the world defaults to no foundries, no IDMs ... no wafer factories ??? Bottom line is when there's no competition left, wafer prices will skyrocket making them great on returns and good value to have.
Dear Noe 1 ... "Samsung will not be holding on to their fabs for too long either" ... in your dreams. My guess is Samsung is the only chip competitor that really keeps TSMC awake at night.
As for ATIC ... fine words and nice fanfare but words and fanfare's are the easy part; the proof of the pudding's will be in the eating. What ATIC really needs is TSMC's prowess, Samsung's ruthlessness and Intel's execution; everything else is an expected and necessary given.
Like UMC, GF has a handicap in that it must rely on outside mask suppliers. I don't think they can advance easily to subsequent nodes as smoothly as TSMC, Samsung, Intel. In fact, it may make sense for them to consider maskless or even direct write instead of something mask-intensive like EUV.
Quite interesting to read you all guys,
one really learns about the IC industry just by glancing over your comments.
So I see that Samsung is strong in chip manufacturing and there are many non-foundry vendors who depend on the makers.
And there are different techs like 40nm, till 20nm.
I would like to know what is the ROI of the semiconductor business is this what we might call hi value added? Perhaps so since at the end the makers are selling little pieces of sillicon but with a high agregated value right? If we think of it... is like making stones speak, calculate and the sort...
@resistion: I am not sure I agree that GF using outside mask suppliers is a handicap. It is in my opinion providing a key differentiation in the sense that they can offer competitive rates from various mask suppliers and they do not even need to invest in the internal development of mask making and they can use the capital to work on the process R&D. In addition to this customers may feel that they are overpaying in terms of masks if they have no alternative options but going through the foundry's captive mask shops.
HSBC says GlobalFoundries (GF) won't be a real factor in the foundry market until 2011. I agree. I am still not convinced about them. Sometimes, I think they are really lost. I am not sure they have made the transition as an IDM under AMD to the pure-play foundry business. They got deep pockets, but they don't have a clue right now. They may figure it -- perhaps sooner than later. But for now, I see red ink and slower-than-expected sales for the foreseeable future.