GlobalFoundries To Construct New 450K Wafer-per-Yr Fab in Singapore

Seeking to capitalize on the continued chip crunch, GlobalFoundries this morning is saying that the corporate is constructing a brand new chip fab in Singapore, with the groundbreaking going down instantly. The unnamed fab can be becoming a member of the corporate’s present cluster of fabs in Singapore, and as soon as absolutely ramped up in late 2023, can be able to processing 450K 300mm wafers per yr. The fab is the primary of a bigger, three part plan for the foundry, which with investments from prospects and the Singapore authorities, can be spending $4 billion to assemble the brand new fab.

Like the remainder of the chip lithography trade, GlobalFoundries is at present having fun with a booming market the place they will’t make chips quick sufficient to fulfill buyer demand. Even with a number of fabs situated in Singapore, Dresden, and the US, the corporate is working at capability and might be promoting extra chips if they may make them. To that finish, the corporate is making ready to make the primary of a number of deliberate capability expansions, beginning with its fab cluster in Singapore.

Retaining according to GlobalFoundries’ pivot in direction of extra specialised processes for particular lessons of chips, the brand new fab goes to be centered on bigger course of nodes. GloFo is principally investing in capability for his or her automotive, 5G mobility and safe system prospects, which implies including capability for his or her 55nm BiCMOS course of for RF, in addition to their 40nm processes for embedded reminiscence and RF. A small a part of the fab’s capability can also be being put aside for 90nm. And, since this fab is being constructed with trendy instruments, the corporate is being fast to emphasise that these allocations aren’t static, and that lots of their instruments are fungible, permitting them to be moved between totally different traces as dictated by demand.

Owing to the distinctive processes being employed and the general chip crunch – which even after it diminishes isn’t anticipated to completely abate any time quickly – GloFo is fast-tracking the event of this new fab. With development already underway (and the formal groundbreaking set for at the moment), the corporate expects the fab to supply its first business wafers in early 2023, solely round 18 months from now. And by the point the fab is absolutely ramped up on the finish of 2023, the 250,000 sq. ft of fresh room area can be able to processing 450K wafers per yr (~38K/month). General, this marks an almost 50% improve in GloFo Singapore’s capability, bringing the entire capability for operations there to 1.5M 300mm wafers per yr.

Funding for the $4 billion fab, in flip, is coming from a couple of sources. Based on GlobalFoundries, a part of the funding for the fab is coming instantly from prospects, who’re pre-paying for the capability. As nicely, Singapore’s Financial Growth Board is being listed as a associate. And at last, with GlobalFoundries simply turning a revenue, the corporate has a lot simpler entry to loans and different types of borrowing than it has in earlier years.

General, this marks the following step in an necessary turnaround for the contract fab, which was spun-off from AMD virtually 13 years in the past. Although GlobalFoundries’ plans to compete as a bleeding-edge fab ultimately fell to the wayside due to the ever-increasing prices of R&D, the corporate has discovered a brand new position as a large-scale supplier of older and extra specialised manufacturing processes. Consequently, GloFo is lastly a financially profitable chip fab, and with that success comes the necessity to develop. As soon as completed, the brand new Singapore fab would be the first brand-new (and never acquired) fab to be constructed by the corporate in a number of years.

In the meantime, Singapore is simply the primary of a number of deliberate additions for the contract chip fab. Aware of the present political local weather and each main nation’s need to safe native chip manufacturing capability, the corporate is aiming to develop capability in all three of its fab websites, ideally splitting capability equally between Singapore, the US, and Dresden. Singapore, in flip, has develop into the primary main growth on the premise of want – it’s the oldest fab complicated and the primary to expire of room – but it surely gained’t be the final. GloFo is already in the midst of its previously-announced $1.4B capability growth throughout all of its websites, and the corporate desires to speculate upwards of 6 billion {dollars} extra over the following couple of years. So, as GlobalFoundries’ fortunes proceed to rise, so will the extra fab capability wanted to assist the corporate.

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