Relying purely on licensing from partner to move up to the technology value chain is inherently risky. R&D, pilot production and mass production could be very different animals to be tamed. Even it is successful, a good portion of the profit will go to the licensing fee that could significantly undercut its capability to compete during tough time. That is what happened to Taiwanese DRAM industry. On the other hand, develop technology internally requires intensive investment, visionary management, time and miss opportunities. However, if done right, the payoff is significant and such companies are normally the market leaders in their industry or market segment.
Globalfoundries certainly has deep pocket but like to see short term results. Hopefully, they can be successful with their unique combination, and gain long-term competitiveness in pure play foundry. It would be good for the industry. Time will tell.