Globalfoundries Inc. and Chengdu municipality in China have agreed to spend more than $100 million encouraging the design of chips for mobile, IoT and automotive applications on Globalfoundries’ fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) manufacturing process.

The spending is expected to stimulate the hiring of more than 500 engineers that will support semiconductor and systems companies in developing products using Globalfoundries’ 22FDX FDSOI process for mobile, connectivity, 5G, IoT, and automotive.

The two entities are already partners in a 300mm wafer fab being constructed in Chengdu to support demand 22FDX and the additional spending on ecosystem is expected to attract semiconductor companies to Chengdu. Construction of the Chengdu fab is expected to be completed early 2018 with the production of mainstream process technologies starting later 2018. Volume production of the 22FDX process is expected to start in 2019.

The design support spending will create multiple design centers in Chengdu and support multiple university programs across China, Globalfoundries said. These centers will focus on IP cores for license, IC design and the incubation of fabless chip startups in Chengdu.

“Over the next six years, we aim to build a world-class ecosystem for FDSOI and make Chengdu a centre of excellence for the design and manufacturing of integrated circuits,” said Gou Zheng Li, deputy mayor of Chengdu City, in a statement issued by Globalfoundries.

“The initiative is well positioned for success, considering Globalfoundries’ track record of positive private-public partnerships to grow ecosystems around its fabs in Germany and New York,” said Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSI Research, in the same statement.

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