by Anton Shilov
01/29/2013 | 11:46 PM
Globalfoundries, the world’s second largest contract maker of semiconductors, is expected to apply for permission to build the second module for its Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York, this week. The formal permission, if granted, does not mean that Globalfoundries will actually start construction of a new factory any time soon, but points to the fact that the company is serious about expansion in foreseeable future.
GlobalFoundries is expected to file an application this week to expand its Fab 8 complex in Luther Forest Technology Campus (LFTC), reports the BusinessReview web-site. The contract maker of chips has not yet committed to building the fab, but filing the application with the town of Malta lays the regulatory groundwork in case GlobalFoundries finds out it needs additional capacity to manufacture chips for its clients.
“A lot of complex factors go into determining whether we need to build a second production facility. That’s really the name of the game – having the right capacity at the right time to meet our customers’ needs,” said Travis Bullard, a spokesman for Globalfoundries.
Speaking at a conference dedicated to Globalfoundries’ new Technology Development Center (TDC), which will be located adjacent to the company’s Fab 8 and will cost $2 billion, Ajit Manocha, chief executive officer of the company, said that the company would continue to expand its presence in LFTC. One of the projects that the leading contract maker of chips is thinking of is Fab 8 module 2, which is projected to cost whopping $10 million.
The cost of around $10 billion is significantly higher than the total investments into Fab 8 module 1 ($6.9 billion), which may either point to the fact that the new factory will be significantly larger than the current one or that it will be Globalfoundries’ first facility that processes 450mm wafers.
The land that Globalfoundries owns in the LFTC was acquired with several modules of the Fab 8 in mind, hence, it is not a surprise that the company is looking forward to build additional production capacities in the New York state as the demand for leading-edge chips is on the rise. However, as it appears, under the terms of the deal with the city of Malta, the total amount of fab-related activities at the Globalfoundries Fab 8 campus is limited to 980 000 square feet (91045m2) with no more than 2*300 000 of square feet (2*27871m2) of cleanroom space. Meanwhile, the Fab 8 module 1 already has footprint of around 491 054 square feet (45620m2) and contains 300 000 square feet (27871m2) of cleanroom space. The GlobalFoundries Fab 8 module one can produce 60 thousand 300mm wafers per month once fully completed in late 2013.
“As our business needs evolve and change, we want to make sure the PDD that governs how we can build on the site is flexible enough to meet the business’s needs,” added Mr. Bullard.