Globalfoundries is a joint-venture between Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company of Abu Dhabi. The new contract maker of semiconductors originally was manufacturing division of AMD, which the company decided to spin-off since designing leading-edge manufacturing processes and keeping the fabs up-to-date required gargantuan investments which return required the company to keep utilization rate of its fabs at maximum, something not easy to accomplish considering changes on the market and seasonality.
For Globalfoundries is should be a little easier to maintain leading edge capabilities and keep utilization rate at high levels since its aim is to manufacture microprocessors and other chips not only for Advanced Micro Devices, but also for other companies in the industry. But this does not mean an easy life for the new contract maker of semiconductors: the company has to ensure that it offers the right process technologies to its potential customers to compete against long-established Taiwan-based foundries: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, United Microelectronics Corp., Chartered Semiconductor and so on. Moreover, the company will have to actively expand its manufacturing capacities in order to be able to fulfill demands from potential clients.
In order to find more about Globalfoundries, its short-term goals and long-term goals, we decided to sit down with Tom Sonderman, the vice president of manufacturing systems at Globalfoundries.
X-bit labs: Hello and thank you for taking time for this interview. Let’s start with yourself: Can you tell our readers who are you and what is your role at the company?
Tom Sonderman: I am Tom Sonderman, Vice President, Manufacturing Systems and Technology at Globalfoundries.
Thomas Sonderman used to be the Director of Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) technology for AMD with global responsibility for the design, development and implementation of manufacturing technologies within AMD’s wafer fab and assembly operations.
X-bit labs: Why Globalfoundries? Is it because of the vision, locations of technology centers and manufacturing facilities, or because the company is a good example of collaboration between the West (U.S.-based AMD) and the Middle-East (Abu Dhabi-based ATIC)?
Tom Sonderman: Globalfoundries vision is to become the world’s first truly global foundry company, with leading-edge manufacturing and technology on multiple continents (the US and Europe in the near-term). We believe this global technology footprint gives us better proximity to customers and most importantly better access to the smartest minds in the industry. As we move to complex geometries like 32nm and beyond this talent is going to be one of the key elements for success if you intend on delivering leading-edge capabilities to customers.