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Globalfoundries: Advantages and Strategy

X-bit labs: Globalfoundries is a brand new name on the market. What advantages will you offer compared to existing foundries?

Tom Sonderman: Our business model is quite different in that we are leading-edge only.  No other foundry company in the world has 100 per cent of their wafer starts on 45nm.  We believe our ability to rapidly adopt new technologies and ramp to mature yields will provide tremendous competitive advantage to our customers. AMD provides a high volume customer to ramp new technologies thereby making it easier for other companies to adopt a robust leading-edge process. In addition, our Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) capabilities are renowned as fueling the world’s most efficient fabs in Dresden. Nobody else has this technology, and now we can unlock it for the entire market.

300 mm Wafer in 45nm Technology

AMD said that the company’s assembly, test, mark and pack (ATMP) assets will not become a part of Globalfoundries, but will remain at AMD. The chipmaker said that since AMD’s AMD’s ATMP operations were specifically tailored for its microprocessor business and thus were better to stay with AMD.

X-bit labs: Do you think that the lack of ATMP operations will be your handicap when competing against TSMC, which does provide appropriate services?

Tom Sonderman: Absolutely not.  Consistent with other leading foundry providers (like TSMC) we will form multiple relationships for outsourced back-end manufacturing to enable our customers increased choice and in how and where they want their products assembled, tested and packaged.

X-bit labs: What services, in addition to manufacturing, do you plan to offer to your customers?

Tom Sonderman: Our focus will be a range of manufacturing and design enablement services that enable our customers to increase their time to market.

X-bit labs: The vast majority of contract makers of semiconductors are based in Southeast Asia, meanwhile you will have manufacturing facilities in Germany and the U.S. Do you expect this will limit the number of potential customers?

Tom Sonderman: No, quite the opposite.  We see this as a competitive advantage.  Close to 70% of our addressable market is in California alone with a number of other key customers in Europe. We also believe having manufacturing capabilities on two continents will allow us to better mitigate risk for our customers.

X-bit labs: In various interviews Globalfoundries implied that it could build manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi or Taiwan. Is it a strategy to build foundries in different parts of the world? Or do you simply promise to consider certain projects going forward?

Tom Sonderman: Our focus is currently building out our second fab in Dresden with bulk silicon capabilities and breaking ground in NY this summer.  Beyond that we’ll add additional capabilities as the market dictates.

Renderings of Fab 2

X-bit labs: It is definitely risky for fabless semiconductor developers to change manufacturing partners. How do you plan to offset that risk for them and encourage to transit their production to Globalfoundries?

Tom Sonderman: Through offering them a compelling long-term roadmap and relationship opportunity. With a robust capacity and technology roadmap and up to $6B in committed funding in the coming years we believe we have what it takes to be a long-term technology and manufacturing leader and a tremendous partner for our customers. If you look at the current players in the market we believe there are very few companies that will be able to sustain these long term investments.

X-bit labs: What are your market share goals for the mid-term and long-term?

Tom Sonderman: We’re not prepared to share them at this time.

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