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Monday, January 10, 2011
Globalfoundries Plans to Become World's First Contract Chip Maker

Globalfoundries will furhter boost its spending on new and existing chip manfacturing plants in an effort to compete with TSMC and become the world?s largest contract manufacturer of computer chips.

The company plans to increase spending to $5.4 billion in 2011, from $2.7 billion last year, Chief Financial Officer Robert Krakauer said in an interview with Bloomberg. The money will be invested in upgrades of an existing plant in Dresden, Germany, as well as in new plants in New York and Abu Dhabi, the company said.

Globalfoundries is owned by an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi and it is formed out of the manufacturing operations of AMD and Chartered Semiconductor.

The company's' expansion plans of its semiconductor manufacturing operations include the construction of an additional wafer manufacturing facility at Fab 1 in Dresden designed to add additional 45/40/28nm capacity and increase overall output to 80,000 wafers per month once fully ramped, expand the clean room shell currently under construction at Fab 8 in New York to provide the option to increase capacity at 28/22/20nm and bring overall site output up to 60,000 wafers per month once fully equipped.

To support long-term growth at the 22/20nm generation, Globalfoundries plans to expand Fab 8, the company's new leading-edge fab currently under construction at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. The expansion will increase the size of the cleanroom shell by approximately 90,000 square feet, bringing the total available cleanroom space to approximately 300,000 square feet, equivalent to roughly six soccer fields of wafer fabrication equipment. The total facility, including cleanroom support infrastructure and office space, includes more than 1.3 million square feet of space and is expected to come online in 2012 with volume production targeted for early 2013.

In addition to the capacity expansion projects, Globalfoundries majority shareholder, the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), announced initial plans for the creation of an advanced technology cluster in Abu Dhabi.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company has won contracts from customers such as Qualcomm Inc. and STMicroelectronics NV since its creation in 2009.

Taiwan Semiconductor, the largest made-to-order chip producer, said in October that capital spending this year will likely surpass the $5.9 billion level of 2010. Intel and Samsung are also in that same range.

According to Bloomberg, the cost of building a chip factory requires an investment of over $4 billion, with individual machines costing more than $10 million apiece.

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