updated 05:40 pm EST, Wed March 4, 2009
The recently approved spin-off of chipmaker AMD's manufacturing operations, in partnership with Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), an Abu Dhabi investment fund, has officially been launched on Wednesday. What is being called as the world's first global semiconductor foundry company, GlobalFoundries will initially employ 2,800 employees worldwide, with its headquarters based in the San Francisco Bay area.
The new company is headed by CEO Doug Grose, a former vice president of manufacturing operations at AMD, while Chairman of the Board Hector Ruiz is a past executive chairman and chairman of the board at AMD. GlobalFoundries will manufacture chips for AMD and have enough capacity to supply much smaller third-party customers, giving them access to advanced manufacturing technologies for the first-time, the company claims.
Already, GlobalFoundries is expanding its Dresden, Germany manufacturing operations by adding a second 300nm facility that will begin producing silicon chips in late 2009. The Dresden factory will be re-named Fab 1 and Module 1 will initially focus on producing high-performance 45nm Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, with Module 2 moving to 32nm bulk silicon production.
In the US, GlobalFoundries will begin constructing a $4.2 billion factory for 32nm and smaller chips, at its Luther Forest Technology Campus is Saratoga County, NY later this year. The facility, called Fab 2, will create about 1,400 jobs and more than 5,000 supporting positions in the region at suppliers. Once completed, Fab 2 will be the only independently-managed advanced semiconductor manufacturing foundry in the US.
GlobalFoundries also has production facilities in Austin, TX.
AMD initially announced plans to split its manufacturing and chip-developing operations in the fall in a bid to reduce its chip production costs and stem losses.