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GLOBALFOUNDRIES Brief History

January 30, 2020, anysilicon

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, abbreviated as GF, is a semiconductor foundry based in Santa Clara, California in the United States. GLOBALFOUNDRIES, is responsible for the mass manufacturing of integrated circuits for popular and successful semiconductor companies including but not limited to the likes of Qualcomm, NXP and STMicroelectronics.

 

The Formation Of GLOBALFOUNDRIES

 

The birth of GLOBALFOUNDRIES became imminent when AMD announced that it was planning to shift to a fabless structure and were evolving into a new company that would be placed temporarily under the name of The Foundry Company. Once the stakes had been paid and the investments made by ATIC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES was found and launched in 2009 on the 4th of March, coming initially as a joint venture between AMD and ATIC. Both companies were looking to combine forces what with the unparalleled semiconductor manufacturing capability of the former and the financial strength and stability of the latter. The reason why AMD chose to change their paths in the first place was the rapidly changing atmosphere of the world of chip design and implementation. Fabless operations were becoming more and more popular and successful and it was only natural for the company’s growth and success that it embraced this change.

 

GLOBALFOUNDRIES was able to snag up some large customers right upfront as they embarked on this venture in 2009, forming partnerships with ARM, STMicroelectronics, Broadcom, as well as Qualcomm. After this, they were able to form a new fab operations center in New York, based on 300nm wafer technology.

 

As the company grew in stature as well as size, they merged with Chartered Semiconductor in January of 2010. As such, the company was able to garner over 150 more customers that were already being served under the umbrella of the services of Chartered Semiconductor who were housing their operations across 6 fabs all over Singapore. This merger proved to be a great addition to the portfolio and repertoire of GLOBALFOUNDRIES since it enabled them to gain access to some of the leading edge technology and tools that were being used at Chartered Semiconductor and they subsequently began to invest in new and innovative solutions for their customers all over the world.

 

By 2015, the firm owned a total of ten fabrication plants spread out over Singapore, Germany, and the United States, along with customer support and research and development centers in countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan, and India in addition to Singapore and the United States. As their market and customer base continued to grow, they also announced a new 300 mm fab to be developed in China to accommodate for and serve their Chinese customers which were only increasing in number.

 

In June 2015, under the leadership of Sanjay Jha, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has completed its acquisition of IBM’s Microelectronics business. IBM Microelectronics offered SiGe and BiCMOS process nodes and Jha saw this opportunity as a value add to the existing GLOBALFOUNDRIES CMOS technology. IBM paid $1.5 billion USD to take over their semiconductor business unit.

 

In the latest developments in 2019, it has been announced by Marvell that they will be acquiring the ASIC Solutions division of GLOBALFOUNDRIES called Avera Semi for a total sum of $650 million. GLOBALFOUNDRIES has also formed a strategic agreement with Toppan Photomasks with the latter acquiring the Burlington photomask facility of GLOBALFOUNDRIES as part of a multi year supply deal signed on August 15 this year.

 

CEOs

 

2018 – today   Thomas Caulfield

2014 – 2018     Sanjay Jha

2011 – 2014     Ajit Manocha

2009 – 2011    Doug Grose

 

Fabrication Facilities

 

Currently, GLOBALFOUNDRIES boasts around five wafer fabrication plants, based in Singapore, as well as one in Germany and three in the United States.

 

300mm Fabrication Plants

 

Fab 1

The only facility in Germany, fab 1 has been with GLOBALFOUNDRIES since the beginning and is capable of producing 80,000 wafers per month. It’s a 12 inch fab, mostly supporting the FDSIO technology node.

 

Fab 7

Fab 7 is a Singaporean fabrication facility that produces 130 to 40 nm wafers on bulk CMOS and SOI. It was received with the Chartered Semiconductor merger.

 

Fab 8

Fab 8 is a New York facility that has the capability to produce 14nm node technology.

 

Fab 10

Located in New York, this fab became part of GLOBALFOUNDRIES as a result of the IBM acquisition and currently manufactures down to the 14nm node.

 

Fab 11

Fab 11 is currently under construction in Chengdu.

 

200mm Fabrication Plants

 

Fab 2

This Singaporean operation manufacturers 600 to 350 nm wafers that are used in automotive IC products as well as high voltage management products.

 

Fab 3/5

In Woodlands, Singapore, this fab manufactures 350 to 180 nm wafers for high voltage IC use, especially for small panel display drivers and mobile power management modules.

 

Fab 3E

Present in Singapore, this fab is responsible for the production of 180 nm wafers that are used mostly in automotive IC products.

 

Fab 6

Located in Woodlands, Singapore, fab 6 is a full copper operations plant that produces highly integrated CMOS and RFCMOS products. It has, however, been shut down and replaced with fab 7 which is a 300mm operation.

 

Fab 9

Fab 9 is located in Vermont and became a part of GLOBALFOUNDRIES with the IBM acquisition.

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