Chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices said in an interview that in future the company may design certain chips in Dubai. Moreover, the high-ranking exec claims that Globalfoundries, semiconductor manufacturing joint-venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company, can possibly build a chip manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi.
“We have chip design centers around the world, including in India and China, and the capabilities by Dubai Silicon Oasis present interesting future opportunities. In time we will [design chips in the UAE], and it’s hard to be specific on the time frame. There is a definite opportunity in such a partnership," said Dirk Meyer, chief executive officer of AMD, in an interview with Emirates Business web-site.
Dubai Circuit Design, which belongs to Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSOA) integrated technology park for the microelectronics and the semiconductor industry, already designs chips for Atmel, Movidius and Synopsis. Apart from microprocessors and graphics processors AMD also designs other chips, namely, core-logic sets. Moreover, AMD needs to integrate already developed circuits into new products, therefore, establishing a design center in Dubai may make sense.
But before AMD establishes its first a chip design facility in Dubai, Globalfoundries will establish a semiconductor production foundry in Abu Dhabi.
“The top priority for AMD is to deepen our partnership with ATIC and Globalfoundries, which continues to expand its partner pool to make sure that infrastructure in Abu Dhabi gets ready for a fabrication plant in the future. As a company, we will want to participate fully in the market through our sales and marketing team and make sure people are IT savvy,” said Mr. Meyer.
AMD owns approximately 34.2% and Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) owns approximately 65.8% of Globalfoundries’ fully-converted common stock, but AMD and ATIC will each have equal voting rights at the close of the transaction earlier this year. ATIC also controls Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and after it merges operations of Globalfoundries and Chartered and/or makes further investments into Globalfoundries, AMD’s share will be much lower. ATIC’s sole shareholder is the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
At present Mubadala Investment owns about 16% of AMD’s stock, whereas Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi controls another 16%. Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi is the chairman of ATIC and the chief operating officer of Mubadala Investment, which sole shareholder is the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Considering the ownership structure, it is not surprising that both AMD and Globalfoundries are focused on Abu Dhabi.