Globalfoundries, a joint venture between Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company, only recently started to construct its second manufacturing facility – fab 2 – in the state of New York. But very shortly the contract maker of semiconductors will start to plan its third production factory – fab 3 – according to the chairman of the firm.
“Globalfoundries is meant to be the world’s leading competitor in this space. It is our [aim] to turn into a true global player. We truly expect that the fab 3 will be in the planning stages very soon,” said Hector Ruiz, chairman of Globalfoundries, on the sidelines of the groundbreaking of the fab 2.
Fab 2 is designed to manufacture microprocessors and logic products on 300mm wafers. Initial production is expected to ramp at the 28nm technology node in 2012 and move to volume manufacturing on the 22nm node.
At this point it is hard to say what Globalfoundries fab 3 will be like and when the company is able to start constructing it, not talking about the timeframe the foundry becomes operational. One thing is clear: Globalfoundries is rather optimistic about its future since starting planning the third fab means that the company is confident about utilization of its fab 1 and fab 2.
At present Globalfoundries has three customers: Advanced Micro Devices itself, ATI, graphics business unit of AMD, and STMicroelectronics. It is widely expected that Nvidia Corp. and other designers of leading-edge chips are interested in building their chips using advanced process technologies at Globalfoundries.
At present Globalfoundries roadmap looks as follows:
- Q1 2010 – the company plans to ramp up production using 32nm SOI and high-K metal gate process.
- Q2 2010 – the firm intends to start making chips using 45nm/40nm bulk fabrication technologies.
- Q4 2010 – the contract chipmaker plans to start offering production using 28nm bulk process tech.
- Q1 2011 – Globalfoundries will unveil its low-power high-K 28nm fabrication process.
- 2H 2012 – the company aims to start making 28nm chips in its new fab near New York.
- 2013 – Globalfoundries will start transition to 22nm process technology. The New York fab will be the first to use 22nm fabrication process jointly developed by IBM and Globalfoundries