|GlobalFoundries readies tool orders, swallows Chartered |
(01/12/2010 11:37 AM EST)
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. -- Having recently completed the acquisition of Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd., GlobalFoundries Inc. this week is expected to launch the new, combined entity.
As expected, the combined foundry entity will be called GlobalFoundries. The foundry upstart will also shortly begin to evaluate equipment vendors for its new 300-mm fab in upstate New York, said Norm Armour, vice president and general manager for Fab 2 at GlobalFoundries (Sunnyvale, Calif.).
This quarter, the company is ''kicking off selection teams'' that will procure tools for the fab, Armour said at SEMI's Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) here. In the third quarter, GlobalFoundries will select the tools for the U.S. fab., he told EE Times.
No tool decisions have been officially made, he said, although it is widely believed that the company will use 193-nm scanners from its main lithography vendor: ASML Holding NV of the Netherlands. GlobalFoundries is also moving towards a dual-vendor strategy in lithography, propelling Nikon Corp. of Japan into the mix. Applied, KLA-Tencor, Novellus, TEL and others are expected to gain orders at GlobalFoundries.
Recently, GlobalFoundries began construction of the new, 300-mm fab in 2009, with plans to eventually process 32-nm devices and beyond. The $4.2 billion manufacturing facility, to be completed in 2012, is located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, N.Y. In total, GlobalFoundries will spend $6 billion in capital expenditures.
In 2008, the new silicon foundry spinoff from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) opened for business, disclosed its corporate name and unveiled its strategy.
GlobalFoundries is a joint venture between AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi. Under the current plan, AMD owns a 34.2 percent stake of the foundry venture, while ATIC will own the remaining shares.
Also in 2008, the foundry spinoff became the latest member in IBM's ''fab club,'' which also includes Chartered, IBM and Samsung. The spinoff will gain access to IBM's common platform technology, including its 32/38-nm technology. The 32-nm process, which has yet to ship, includes high-k and metal gates.
Late last year, ATIC acquired Chartered for a total of $3.9 billion. Chartered will be folded into GlobalFoundries.
This week, the two companies will officially announce the combined entity, to be named GlobalFoundries. The Chartered name will be dropped. As reported, Doug Grose, chief executive of GlobalFoundries, will remain CEO of the combined company, which will have 10,000 employees.
The combined entity will have fabs in Germany, Singapore, and eventually, upstate New York. Last month, Chartered began the next phase of an expansion plan within its 300-mm fab in Singapore. The silicon foundry provider plans to nearly double its production level in Fab 7, from 30,000 wafers a month to 50,000 wafers a month.
Under GlobalFoundries, Chartered will mostly make 65-nm devices within Fab 7, Armour said. It's possible that Chartered will also make 45-/40-nm devices, but GlobalFoundries will focus on the leading-edge, he said.
The main fab for GlobalFoundries is Fab 36 in Dresden, Germany. Previously owned by AMD, that 300-mm fab is currently making 45-nm processors for AMD. GlobalFoundries is also proceeding with plans to expand its Dresden-based manufacturing lines, by bringing a second 300-mm manufacturing facility with bulk silicon capabilities.
The Dresden cluster, re-named Fab 1, has two modules. Module 1 will initially focus on the production of high-performance, 45-nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, mostly processors for AMD. Module 2 will be the soon-to-be completed 32-nm (and beyond) bulk silicon facility.
Module 2 will also have a 40-nm low-power, non-SOI process due out this year. Within the German fab, the company plans to take a dual-vendor strategy, mainly in lithography, Armour said.
In Germany, GlobalFoundries has been using ASML's 193-nm scanners for the critical layers, Armour said. Going forward, GlobalFoundries will also use Nikon's scanners as well, he said.
GlobalFoundries is also moving to integrate the fabs from the company and Chartered. The two companies use the same MES system, but the ERP systems are different. Other integration challenges remain, namely how to combine the two operations without upsetting internal employees and customers.
Qualcomm Inc. recently expanded its foundry roster, by announcing a deal with GlobalFoundries. Initially, GlobalFoundries said it intends to provide Qualcomm (San Diego) with access to 45-nm low-power and 28-nm foundry technologies, with an intended collaboration on future advanced process nodes.