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Globalfoundries will become the world’s second largest contract maker of semiconductors in two years time and Abu Dhabi will have its own semiconductor manufacturing facility in four years, said the chairman of Advanced Technology Investment Company.

“Give us about four years and you will see the first [semiconductor] foundry in Abu Dhabi,” said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, the chairman of ATIC and the chief operating officer of Mubadala Investment, reports The National Newspaper in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Muhairi completely understands the challenges for Abu Dhabi when it comes to development of semiconductor industry. During his speech at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the high-ranking executive indicated that the emirate will work closely with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in order to create appropriate infrastructure. In fact, Abu Dhabi has serious plans for the semiconductor industry: by 2030 the emirate hopes to boost semiconductor industry workforce count to 40 000 people.

“We need designers, process engineers and material scientists, and we're going to have them,” Mr. Al Muhairi said.

But before building the first microprocessor production facility in Abu Dhabi, ATIC needs to significantly strengthen its current asset: Globalfoundries. At present the contract maker of semiconductors controls relatively small market share, but going forward it will absorb Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and will also build its Fab 2 at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York by 2012. Mr. Muhairi believes that this will help Globalfoundries to become the world’s second largest contract maker of chips.

“We are going head to head with TSMC, so we are going to fight it out. We think most of the other foundries are going to disappear over time. […] We will be No. 2 in two years. It is an industry changing move to create, at home, this business. We want to compete with Intel,” Mr. Al Muhairi is quoted as saying by Reuters news-agency.

Both ATIC and Mubadala have the sole shareholder – the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Mubadala is the largest shareholder of Advanced Micro Devices, whereas ATIC controls over two thirds of Globalfoundries, a semiconductor joint-venture between AMD and ATIC.

Tags: ATIC, Mubadala, Globalfoundries, AMD, Semiconductor, Business

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