Given the changes that have gone on at Globalfoundries in recent months – such as the sale of the Tampines fab in Singapore – we asked whether there had been any discussions with local European chipmakers about the acquisition of the Dresden wafer fab from Globalfoundries.
Such talks would not be out of the question because, as the likes of STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies and NXP Semiconductor have themselves pulled back from leading-edge manufacturing, they seem to be valuing and expanding More-than-Moore chip manufacturing again; using their ability to make various types of ICs for commercial differentiation. And foundries such as X-Fab and Tower Semiconductor have always expanded by the acquisition of mature sites.
Morgenstern's response is clear: "Categorically Dresden is not for sale. The companies you mention are potentially customers of ours. We sell capacity, so that is what they can buy."
He then provides an interesting potted history of the Dresden site. "We were started by AMD making CPUs in the PC era. Under Globalfoundries we moved on to making SoCs for the mobile phone era. Now we are making automotive ICs, IoT for industrial applications, chips for 5G communications and AI at the edge. We are making the focus what we can contribute; relevant chips for Europe."
By way of a recap Morgenstern said he is implementing a three-pillar manufacturing strategy; More-than-Moore on mature processes and 28nm CMOS; 22FDX and differentiated FDX. But that also involves an expansion of the customer base and a transition in the manufacturing mind-set, he said. It is about security, quality and 100 percent on-time delivery. Although automotive ICs are only part of what Dresden is manufacturing, Morgernstern uses it as an appropriate maxim for the Dresden operation going forward: "Automotive is not a product, it is a mind-set."
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