Globalfoundries is a leading pure-play foundry, headquartered in New York, but with a wafer fab in Dresden, Germany. That campus forms an anchor for the Silicon Saxony initiative and it could be a key part of Europe's plans to re-invigorate its semiconductor fortunes in pursuit of strategic independence.
We started by asking Caulfield about the European politician's proclaimed goal of doubling Europe's chip manufacturing capacity to 20 percent of global output by 2030 when currently its share is said to be down at 6 or 7 percent by some analysts. Others have pointed out that Europe's share of the more advanced chip manufacturing on 300mm-diameter wafers has been less than 1 percent of global output (see Europe's 300mm IC manufacturing falls below 1% of world output). With the continent's share on a downward trend surely 20 percent is an unrealistic goal?
"There are plenty of examples from history where it has been important to set ambitious goals. The most obvious is JFK when he said the US would put a man on the moon within a decade. The most important thing is it produces a change in mindset. You have to change what you are doing. It forces a different paradigm and then you get rid of the blockers," Caulfield said
"If Europe gets to 17 or 18 percent by 2030 no one is going to say it has failed. They'll say things are going in the right direction. It is ambitious and the world is not standing still. So it will be 20 percent of a much increased global manufacturing capacity," Caulfield said. He added, that given that so much semiconductor manufacturing investment is going to be made why not make a significant part of it in Europe