Battle is on in semiconductor "war of the worlds"

In a few hours Global Foundries (GloFo) will launch a full day forum here in Satan Clara intended to stamp its presence indelibly on the semiconductor market.

GloFo – the spun off division of AMD – and vastly funded by money from the Gulf, is expected to announce a number of further initiatives given by Abu Dhabi to project the sheikhdom as a future centre of semiconductor excellence. For GloFo, the enemy is the number one Taiwanese foundry in the world, not Intel.

In Taiwan, earlier this year, the CEO of ATIC told TechEye that he was resolutely going to pitch Abu Dhabi as the first Middle Eastern place for a fab to be built. As much of the money ATIC, an arm of the government, has plunged into GloFo, we would not be surprised if an announcement will be made. Abu Dhabi may not be quite ready so it will be projected into the future.

In talks with various people in Silicon Valley today, it’s become apparent that Abu Dhabi does have a long term view of the future in terms of semiconductors, medicine, bio and the like. A source close to Intel said that it had been approached by governments in the Gulf to assist its progress on the semiconductor and medical fronts.

Nevertheless, ATIC has already plunged billions into ensuring GloFo is a viable engine for the semiconductor future. We’re also reliably informed that there are no “IP issues” any more between Intel and GloFo.

Indeed, we kind of get the coded message that Intel approves of competition between another foundry and the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), with which the chip giant has a relationship.

An unattributable source told me today that the real question is whether GloFo has the expertise to draw in the other members of the alliance, apart from IBM and AMD, to bring its plans to market.

Another unattributable source close to GloFo told me that it has little doubt it can achieve its goals.

TechEye will be covering the conference, in some detail, from tomorrow. Or today, as it is in the UK but not in Silicon Valley – later.

Reading between the runes, it seems that both Intel and GloFo have mutual respect for each other. Not that Intel dislikes TSMC, it can’t, let’s be realistic. But it welcomes another player to soak up the demand for chips.

Chips and the internet are simply not going to go away, barring a global catastrophe.