$1.5bn for GlobalFoundries GaN fab capacity

$1.5bn for GlobalFoundries GaN fab capacity

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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GlobalFoundries is the first US foundry to receive major backing from the US government with a $1.5bn deal for fab expansion and gallium nitride (GaN).

The US Department of Commerce announced $1.5 billion in planned direct funding for GlobalFoundries (GF) to expand its US fab capacity with GaN as part of the CHIPS and Science Act. An additional $600m is coming for the New York State Green CHIPS programme and other state benefits over the next ten years.

The funding is part of a $11bn plan for a new gallium nitride (GaN) foundry for power chips at its Burlington fab as well as a 300mm expansion of its existing fab in Malta, New York, to build automotive chips. The GaN chips will be used in electric vehicles, power grids, data centres, 5G and 6G smartphones and other critical technologies and brings back automotive technology to the US that is currently used in Dresden, Germany, and Singapore.

“Semiconductors are critical to today’s vehicles,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors which last year took the unusual step of working directly with semiconductor makers such as GF to avoid a repetition of the recent chip shortages. “GlobalFoundries’ investment in New York both ensures a robust supply of semiconductors in the US to help GM meet demand and supports U.S. leadership in automotive innovation.”

“Qualcomm welcomes today’s announcement from the US Department of Commerce CHIPS office regarding funding for GlobalFoundries expansion of their US chip making operations. GlobalFoundries’ commitment to providing additional chip production capacity that allows us to continue pushing the boundaries of the innovation for 5G, Automotive and IoT applications. We are pleased to partner with a company that shares our vision for a more resilient global supply chain for chip production,” said Dr. Roawen Chen, Chief Supply Chain and Operations Officer at Qualcomm Technologies and an automotive customer of GF.

GF says it is the first semiconductor pure play foundry to receive a major award from the CHIPS and Science Act, although other foundries such as SkyWater have applied for funding and BAe Systems has already received funding.

As well as expanding the existing 200mm fab, the funds will be used for the construction of a new 300mm fab on the Malta campus to meet expected customer demand for US-made essential chips across a broad range of markets and applications including automotive, aerospace, defense and AI.  The new fab, which has already been granted some necessary permitting, will use the existing infrastructure and ecosystem. GF describes the fab as ‘state of the art’ although the company has a focus on mixed signal and rugged technologies down to 12nm rather than leading edge digital technologies.

The new 300mm fab capacity and the expansion is expected to triple the existing capacity of the Malta campus over the next ten years to 1 million per year once all phases are complete.

GF says it plans to invest more than $12 billion over the next 10 plus years across its two US sites in Malta and Burlington through public-private partnerships with support from the federal and state governments as well as from its ecosystem partners, including key strategic customers.

“GF is proud to announce this proposed funding from the Department of Commerce and New York State and appreciates the collaboration of the CHIPS Office and the Empire State Development Corporation throughout this process. These proposed investments, along with the investment tax credit (ITC) for semiconductor manufacturing, are central to the next chapter of the GlobalFoundries story and our industry. They will also play an important role in making the US semiconductor ecosystem more globally competitive and resilient and cements the New York Capital Region as a global semiconductor hub,” said Dr. Thomas Caulfield, president and CEO of GF.

“With new onshore capacity and technology on the horizon, as an industry we now need to turn our attention to increasing the demand for US-made chips, and to growing our talented US semiconductor workforce.”

“We are pleased that GlobalFoundries will be receiving a $1.5 billion investment from the US CHIPS and Science Act,” said Dr Lisa Su, Chair and CEO of AMD. “GlobalFoundries is a strategic supplier and key enabler of AMD’s high-performance computing products. The planned investment demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. government to strengthen the domestic chip supply chain for economic growth and ensure the long-term competitiveness of the US semiconductor ecosystem.”


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