Today at a private GlobalFoundies event, CEO Tom Caulfield accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, announced that the company is set on expansion. At the heart of this new initiative is a doubling of Fab 8, GF’s leading manufacturing facility, at the cost of around $1B. Accompanying this is the disclosure that GF is going to build another manufacturing facility close to Fab 8, in Malta NY, as part of a Private-Public partnership. Details of the new facility were not given.


CEO Tom Caulfield

GlobalFoundries is a contract manufacturer of microprocessors, focusing on adjacency technologies from 12nm and larger geometries. While most column inches are spent discussing the leading-edge manufacturing at GF’s competitors, in a discussion with the CEO we were told that GF addresses around 70% of the semiconductor market and in the current climate is currently running all of its facilities at maximum production.

GF has three main fabs in Malta NY, Dresden Germany, and Singapore – all three are running at maximum output, and GF recently announced a new plant in Singapore capable of 450K wafers per year. Tom Caulfield told us prior to that announcement that the Malta fab is around two-thirds full of equipment, Dresden is at about half, but Singapore is full, hence the new Singapore fab. In March GF announced a $1.4B expansion divided equally between the three sites, with Production capacity is expected to increase by 13% this year and by 20% next year as a result of the increased funding. Today’s announcement commits to adding additional machines at Malta to scale out to the space already there, for another 150k wafers per year, at a cost of $1B.


New website with the new branding. They should have put 'Moore'

The other element of the announcement is the new fab in Malta. The deployment of a new facility, especially at scale, costs billions. GlobalFoundries today acknowledges that it will take billions, citing the US government’s desire to increase national manufacturing in light of the global scale and building more on American soil. Exactly how GF will implement a new facility has not been disclosed – no timeline, no costs, no information about where the funding is coming from, or what process nodes will be manufactured on-site. It was announced that it would be a private-public partnership, developing chips for high-growth areas such as automotive, 5G, and IoT. The fab is set to create 1000 technical jobs and another few thousand in ancillary positions in the local area to support it. Discussions were also made in light of the semiconductor supply chain, and the need to invest and evolve that part of the business alongside manufacturing improvements. Senator Schumer spoke about the need to pass grow semiconductors, holding up a bag of chips alongside a wafer.

These announcements are part of a train of recent disclosures and talk about GlobalFoundries. Last week it was rumored that Intel was seeking to acquire GF for $30 billion, however today GF announced a complete logo change and rebranding of the business, which doesn’t tend to occur if a company is in the process of acquisition talks. Alongside this, GF is expected to bring forward its Initial Public Offering (IPO) from 2022 to late 2021. The company is currently owned wholly by the Emerati state holding company Mubadala, and the IPO is on the back of some growth of GF in light of the high semiconductor demand environment. GlobalFoundries expects 2021 revenue to be around $6.2 billion, a +9% growth over 2020.

Official Press Release from GlobalFoundries

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  • Ian Cutress - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Everything not on the bleeding edge logic is usually called 'adjacency', yes. That includes RF, High Voltage, Analog, MEMs, eNVM, photonic. Reply
  • webdoctors - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Must be some pretty sweet incentives to do another one in NY, can't wait to see them published. Reply
  • Arsenica - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    As Cuomo wasn't in this event it most likely mean that GloFo is using the recently approved Federal incentives. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    +1. You couldn't have kept him away otherwise. Reply
  • bobby Valentino - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    I would guess the Commerce Secretary who was there that she prob showed up with a gigantic check. Reply
  • Techie2 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Career criminal Schumer likely doesn't actually know the difference between a potato chip and a semi-conductor chip. After ignoring the exportation of millions of U.S. jobs to China and allowing Foxconn/Apple to use slave and child labor to produce iPhones that sell for $1000+ in the U.S., now these DC parasites like drunks are doling our tax payer money to all. It's easy to spend someone elses money when you're living on the dole all your adult life.

    Building or expanding U.S. fabs doesn't result in most of the revenue staying in the U.S. economy either so tax payers should not be endowing multi-national companies who already reap fortunes from industry monopolies. These companies should be required to manufacture the goods they sell in the country they sell it in, pay fair labor prices, provide decent employee working conditions and be environmentally responsible. Anything less is exploitation and it's been ongoing for decades.
    Reply
  • Tilmitt - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Welfare for communist dictatorship enabling multinational corporations loyal to nothing. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    > now these DC parasites like drunks are doling our tax payer money to all.

    It's a lot of money for the industry, but not actually that much in terms of federal spending. There's tons of crap the federal government subsidizes. Do you get this worked up over tax breaks for oil exploration?

    More to the point: how do you expect the government to get more domestic semiconductor production? Do you really want an import ban on chips to crash the economy for however long it takes someone to build fabs? An approach involving subsidies is the only one that's politically feasible. I doubt you'll find many successful examples of other models, anywhere else in the world. Like it or not, subsidies is how this sort of thing gets done. The far bigger problem is that big corporations pay virtually no tax on their profits.

    > allowing Foxconn/Apple to use slave and child labor to produce iPhones

    It's not only iPhones. Most manufacturing is in China, or somewhere with similar labor & environmental practices. Don't act like you haven't benefitted from it, too.

    > It's easy to spend someone elses money when you're living on the dole all your adult life.

    All politicians spend other people's money. Whether it's through tax breaks or subsidies, it amounts to the same thing. The only difference is which constituency gets the benefits.

    > Building or expanding U.S. fabs doesn't result in most of the revenue staying in the U.S.

    It's not only about revenue, but also for strategic reasons. Otherwise, when China takes back Taiwan and threatens to cut off the US from TSMC, we're completely at their mercy.

    > companies should be required to manufacture the goods they sell in the country they sell it in

    That's insane. You can't just unwind centuries of globalization. If you even tried, it would certainly crater the economy like nothing we've ever seen.

    > pay fair labor prices, provide decent employee working conditions
    > and be environmentally responsible.

    Agreed.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    I always get confused when people blame the politicians in capitalist states for the things capitalism does (e.g. outsourcing labour when local labour gets basic rights, bilking the state for subsidies). It usually accompanies some other form of pseudo-Libertarian rhetoric, though, which entails a kind of specific blindness for the problems inherent to capitalist systems. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    What capitalism? Reply

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