Today at a private GlobalFoundies event, CEO Tom Caulfield accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, announced that the company is set on expansion. At the heart of this new initiative is a doubling of Fab 8, GF’s leading manufacturing facility, at the cost of around $1B. Accompanying this is the disclosure that GF is going to build another manufacturing facility close to Fab 8, in Malta NY, as part of a Private-Public partnership. Details of the new facility were not given.

CEO Tom Caulfield

GlobalFoundries is a contract manufacturer of microprocessors, focusing on adjacency technologies from 12nm and larger geometries. While most column inches are spent discussing the leading-edge manufacturing at GF’s competitors, in a discussion with the CEO we were told that GF addresses around 70% of the semiconductor market and in the current climate is currently running all of its facilities at maximum production.

GF has three main fabs in Malta NY, Dresden Germany, and Singapore – all three are running at maximum output, and GF recently announced a new plant in Singapore capable of 450K wafers per year. Tom Caulfield told us prior to that announcement that the Malta fab is around two-thirds full of equipment, Dresden is at about half, but Singapore is full, hence the new Singapore fab. In March GF announced a $1.4B expansion divided equally between the three sites, with Production capacity is expected to increase by 13% this year and by 20% next year as a result of the increased funding. Today’s announcement commits to adding additional machines at Malta to scale out to the space already there, for another 150k wafers per year, at a cost of $1B.

New website with the new branding. They should have put 'Moore'

The other element of the announcement is the new fab in Malta. The deployment of a new facility, especially at scale, costs billions. GlobalFoundries today acknowledges that it will take billions, citing the US government’s desire to increase national manufacturing in light of the global scale and building more on American soil. Exactly how GF will implement a new facility has not been disclosed – no timeline, no costs, no information about where the funding is coming from, or what process nodes will be manufactured on-site. It was announced that it would be a private-public partnership, developing chips for high-growth areas such as automotive, 5G, and IoT. The fab is set to create 1000 technical jobs and another few thousand in ancillary positions in the local area to support it. Discussions were also made in light of the semiconductor supply chain, and the need to invest and evolve that part of the business alongside manufacturing improvements. Senator Schumer spoke about the need to pass grow semiconductors, holding up a bag of chips alongside a wafer.

These announcements are part of a train of recent disclosures and talk about GlobalFoundries. Last week it was rumored that Intel was seeking to acquire GF for $30 billion, however today GF announced a complete logo change and rebranding of the business, which doesn’t tend to occur if a company is in the process of acquisition talks. Alongside this, GF is expected to bring forward its Initial Public Offering (IPO) from 2022 to late 2021. The company is currently owned wholly by the Emerati state holding company Mubadala, and the IPO is on the back of some growth of GF in light of the high semiconductor demand environment. GlobalFoundries expects 2021 revenue to be around $6.2 billion, a +9% growth over 2020.

Official Press Release from GlobalFoundries

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  • mode_13h - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    The big wildcard in the semiconductor supply/demand situation is when China starts to approach parity with the leading fabs.

    Otherwise, I think semiconductor demand has gotten very difficult to predict, in recent years. I remember there was supposed to be a cooling-off sometime around 2017-2019 that never happened. Blame it on mining or AI, but I don't think there's any one cause.
  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    What is that utter trash logo damn. Old one made so much perfect sense, A globe with silicon circuitry under microscope. Now it's all gone thanks to this bs flat design.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    I think the text looks nice, but the squares and flowery GF are unsightly.
  • WaltC - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    The Intel rumor crashed and burned, as predicted...;) People need to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff insofar as rumor is concerned. If something sounds silly and nonsensical it probably, very likely, is.
  • Sahrin - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    $30B is less than the cost of GF's fabs themsleves. Intel's offer is a ridiculous lowball and Mubadala would be idiotic to accept it. They'll easily get twice that in the IPO - Mubadala's target should be $100B, their lowest acceptable offer ~$70B.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    ‘a private-public partnership’

  • mode_13h - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    How exactly is it not? I guess the only thing that doesn't wash is that the State should get some rights to the IP, were it a real partner. That's usually what happens in private partnerships.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, July 26, 2021 - link

    The ‘bottom 90%’ of the public is completely invisible to Congress according to the famous Harvard/Northwestern study.

    Public/private partnership is a euphemism, one gleefully deployed in pseudo-capitalism.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - link

    > The ‘bottom 90%’ of the public is completely invisible to Congress

    Non-sequitur. And certainly not true of the pandemic-related benefits passed in both last year and this.

    Also, if you look at the tax code, the lower half of the US population does quite well. Even the middle-income folks get benefits like child tax-credits and mortgage interest deductions.

    > Public/private partnership is a euphemism

    As long as the public gets more benefits than it would otherwise accrue, it's not. It's in the long-term strategic interest of the US public to maintain a domestic semiconductor manufacturing capability. That's the public interest. Another is to benefit other US industries, such as automotive manufacturing.

    As I said, I'd like for the public to get a greater return on its investment, either in financial or other terms, but there's indeed a legitimate public interest.

    It's almost like you're challenging yourself to see how cynical you can be. My sympathies for whatever misfortune has embittered you so. That's a very sad and one-dimensional way of looking at the world. There's not such a deficit of sadness in the world that we need to search it out so fastidiously.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link


    Spoken like a member of Congress.

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