Global Foundries 12-inch wafers to take on TSMC

A senior vice president of Global Foundries said that expanding its existing and new fabs using 12-inch technology will allow it to compete successfully against number one foundry TSMC.

Its new fab in New York State, Fab 7 in Singapore and Fab 1 in Dresden will all ramp up processing of wafers, said Mojy Chian, from GloFo. Singapore will pump out 50,000 wafers and a month and Dresden 60,000 wafers a month. He said: “We’ll announce further capacity expansion in the next few weeks. The numbers compared to TSMC will be very comparable.”

Chian said that while it had no immediate plans to join the 450 millimetre wafer party, he believed that creating extra capacity on 12-inch wafers would hold it in good stead for some time.

Global Foundries, spun off from AMD, borrowed its foundry model when it merged with Singapore firm Chartered, he said.  Because it is a global company, he said, Abu Dhabi could well be a candidate for a future fab. Sources told TechEye that AMD will lessen its share in Global Foundries as the year wears on.

Chian described two chip designs from customers that he said illustrated the kind of collaboration that made GloFo different from other foundries. Those are the AMD Fusion, already in production, which uses 32 nanometre SOI process technology, high k metal gate, four CPU cores and 11 copper metal layers. AMD codenames that the Llano – it’s already in production said Chian.

The other chip he described was the ARM Cortex-A9. “The level of collaboration between a [chip] designer and a foundry is unprecedented,” he said.

He claimed that close collaboration between designer and foundry was a sine qua non. R&D for 22-12 nanometre chips costs around $1,300 million and a fab between $4.5 billion to $6.5 billion. The 22/20/17 nanometre fab in New York State will cost around $5 billion, he said.