In response to growing customer demand, GlobalFoundries has announced that it is investing in its existing fabs in the United States, expanding its footprint in China with a fab in Chengdu and adding capacity for mainstream technologies in Singapore.

“We continue to invest in capacity and technology to meet the needs of our worldwide customer base,” said GF CEO Sanjay Jha. “We are seeing strong demand for both our mainstream and advanced technologies, from our world-class RF-SOI platform for connected devices to our FD-SOI and FinFET roadmap at the leading edge. These new investments will allow us to expand our existing fabs while growing our presence in China through a partnership in Chengdu.”

In the United States, GF plans to expand 14nm FinFET capacity by an additional 20% at its New York Fab 8 facility, with production capabilities to arrive early next year. This expansion builds on the approximately $13 billion invested in the United States over the last eight years, with an associated 9,000 direct jobs across four locations and 15,000 jobs within the regional ecosystem. New York will continue to be the centre of technology development for 7nm and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, with 7nm production planned for Q2 2018.

In the U.S., pressure from the new Trump Administration for local manufacturing and concerns of possible trade wars also may be motivating factors. “Technology companies in general, are feeling increased pressure to expand or establish operations in the U.S.,” said McClean, president of market watcher IC Insights, in an email exchange with the EETimes.

“Until recently I don’t think anyone in Washington D.C. cared if you built a fab in the United States—even today, I wouldn’t say there’s any overt pressure to do so,” said Hutcheson.

“That said, business leaders do not want to be torpedoed by a Trump tweet, so it’s definitely important to have contingency plans for investments in the U.S.,” he said. “Also, given the uncertainty about taxes and tariffs, it’s really important to have a seat at the President’s table…creating jobs in the U.S. with billion dollar investments is definitely a way to have Trump’s ear,” he added.

In Germany, GF plans to build up 22FDX 22nm FD-SOI capacity at its Fab 1 facility in Dresden to meet demand for the IoT, smartphone processors, automotive electronics and other battery-powered wirelessly connected applications, growing the overall fab capacity by 40% by 2020. Dresden will continue to be the centre for FDX technology development. GF engineers in Dresden are already developing the company’s 12FDX technology, with customer product tape-outs expected to begin in the middle of 2018.

In Singapore, GF will increase 40nm capacity at its 300mm fab by 35%, while also enabling more 180nm production on its 200mm manufacturing lines. The company will also raise capabilities to produce its RF-SOI technology.

 
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