Globalfoundries, a contract maker of semiconductors controlled by Advanced Technology Investment Company and Advanced Micro Devices, said that it would announce expansions of its manufacturing capacities assigned for advanced process technologies (130nm and newer) and those expansions are projected to allow the company to compete against arch-rival TSMC’s in terms of 300mm fab capacities.
“If you look at the planned capacity for advanced technology, and the new fab ramping to 42 000 wafers a month, and with the fab in Singapore going to 50 000 wafers per month, and the Dresden fab going to 60 000 wafers a month, and then next week we will announce a further expansion of our facilities and, when you see the further expansion, you will see the numbers are very comparable with TSMC,” said Mojy Chian, Globalfoundries’ senior vice president for device enablement, at the International Electronics Forum 2010, reports Electronics Weekly web-site.
The high-ranking executive did not elaborate about the ways to expand manufacturing capacities. Recently Globalfoundries requested additional funding from the state of New York to expand production capacity of the fab 2 in Luther Forest, New York, which is being built at the moment and which will be operational in 2012. In addition, Globalfoundries can boost its advanced process manufacturing capacity by acquiring another 300mm fab from a third-party.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry which operates a 150mm wafer fab (fab 2), five 200mm wafer fabs (fab 3, 5, 6, 8 and WaferTech) and two 300mm wafer “gigafabs” (fab 12 and 14). The latter two factories produce chips using so-called advanced process technologies, which are 130nm and below. About 71% of TSMC’s revenue comes from advanced fabrication processes and the demand is increasing quickly. TSMC plans to expand capacities of the current 300mm facilities and once the expansions are completed, the two fabs will be able to turn out a total of 100 thousand wafers a month, which seems to increase output of advanced products by 35%. Unfortunately, it is unknown when the expansions are projected to be completed. The additional fab, if construction is started in mid-2010, will come online sometime in 2013 – 2014.
But while it is important to own significant amount of fabs processing 300mm wafers using advanced fabrication processes, it is also important to ramp up production on the leading-edge manufacturing technology quickly and ensure high yields, stresses Globalfoundries.
“In the advanced technology side, cost is not the only factor. You are all aware of the [TSMC] issues at 40nm. The early adopters at 40nm had issues which were independent of cost. They could not get wafers, no matter what the cost. Cost is one factor in the advanced technology business, but the most important part is how quickly a foundry can go to high volume production. We have shown that we can go to high volume very quickly, and we plan to reproduce that at the SOI 32nm node,” said Mr. Chian.