Telling it like it is on the inside of production semiconductors as seen at Chipworks

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GLOBALFOUNDRIES' Ajit Manocha Visits Vegas for CES

GLOBALFOUNDRIES has hosted a reception for the last three years at CES, although they don't exhibit there, or even take a suite for the show - they find it a useful way to connect with customers and the analyst and journalist community. Held on CES Tuesday (Jan 10), I expected a large Intel-style gathering with lots of flash, but it was actually quite low-key in a hospitality suite at the Mandalay Bay resort, with no more than thirty people there at any one time.

After the initial introductions, Ajit stood up and gave a short speech celebrating the first silicon coming out of Fab 8 in Malta, New York, as announced that morning - the first wafers squeaked into 2011 as promised, coming out of the line on 27th December; and we can expect the first 20-nm silicon in June. He also spoke of the recent management changes and plans for $3 Bn capex for 2012 revealed in an interview the same day, bringing the total capex for the last three years to almost $12 Bn, showing their commitment to stay the course in the industry. He emphasised that "GLOBALFOUNDRIES is not just Dresden", and that the former Chartered Semi fabs in Singapore were contributing significantly to GloFo's bottom line.

Ajit Manocha at GLOBALFOUNDRIES' CES reception
The roster of customers that were present supported that, since most were fabless companies with product using larger node processes than the 45- and 28-nm product from Dresden.  Notably, AMD were not present, at least when I was there. A good crew of GF management was there, Kevin Kimball (VP, Global Communications), Mojy Chian (Senior VP, Design Enablement), and his colleague Derek Meyer, and Subramani (Subi) Kingeri, (VP of Design Solutions - 14nm), amongst others. There were a couple of wafers on show too, unfortunately not from Fab 8 - that would have been really topical!

28-nm and 32-nm AMD Llano Wafers from GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab1 in Dresden
GloFo is clearly staffing up at Fab 8 - they held a job fair there last week and reportedly have hired 1100 so far, heading for 1400 by year end. By the look of some of their stock photos, they are still not 100% functional yet, but it obviously won't be long!

GloFo shot of Fab 8 clean room - note the hard hats and hand-carried FOUPs!
Aerial shot of GLOBALFOUNDRIES' Fab 8 in Malta, New York
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