Globalfoundries had to switch to short-time work in June 2018 after losing a major customer and no longer being able to fully utilise its production facilities in Dresden. Working hours at the entire site were reduced by 20 to 30 percent. The number of employees also fell during this period from approx. 3400 to 3000.
Now the company is pursuing a diversification strategy in Dresden under the new managing director Thomas Morgenstern. "We want to distribute our workload to more customers in order to prevent such unpleasant dependencies on individual key accounts from arising in the first place," said a company spokesman. "Capacity utilisation is not yet where we would like it to be, but we are making progress.” The spokesman did not want to say which new customers the company was able to win. The Californian touchpad specialist Synaptics is certainly one of them - in a recent telephone conference with analysts, Synaptics CEO Rick Bergman had made a statement to this effect. He referred to Globalfoundries' 22FDX process, the Dresden-based foundry’s bread-and-butter technology.
In addition to 22FDX, Globalfoundries has also launched a number of "transfer projects" in Dresden with geometries larger than 22nm, the spokesman explained. The company's main aim is to serve customers who develop a wide range of applications for the IoT environment and the automotive industry. "We also want to acquire 5G applications in the future," said the speaker. Towards this end, the company has established a collaboration with semiconductor IP provider Dolphin Integration (Grenoble, France) that aims at developing a series of adaptive body bias (ABB) solutions to improve the energy efficiency and reliability for such applications, including 5G.