Globalfoundries moves towards next Dresden wafer fab

July 01, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Globalfoundries moves towards next Dresden wafer fab
A visit to Dresden by German Economy Minister Peter Altmeier gave Globalfoundries' CEO Tom Caulfield the opportunity to discuss a master plan to expand there.

Construction of the additional cleanroom space is dependent on a mix of funding sources, likely to include the German state via a renewed IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) and customers prepared to pay upfront for a guaranteed share of the fab's output.

Caulfield said he was confident that the expansion could go ahead when IPCEI-2 gets funded.

Caulfield did not give any details or put budgetary value on the proposed expansion which appears to be set to come on stream in 2024. Caulfield did speak more generally of the semiconductor industry's need to invest to support an industry that would have doubled to an annual value of $1 trillion within 8 years.

On his visit Altmeier was presented with the chipmaker's ten-year plan. Altmeier has been a keen proponent of Germany providing a substantial helping hand to the domestic semiconductor industry under a renewed IPCEI. Altmeier also visited an Infineon wafer fab while he was in Dresden.

Altmeier has already set aside €5 billion (about US$5.9 billion) to support chip makers and he said that state support could be doubled to support strong interest from outside Germany (see Intel in talks with Bavaria over wafer fab location).

The Globalfoundries CEO said his company would spend $1 billion in Dresden over the next two years to get to maximum manufacturing capacity out of the current wafer fab but that beyond that new cleanroom space would be required.

Caulfield said: "I hope to be back soon with more details of our plan" adding that Globalfoundries was ready to co-invest on production covering technologies from 55nm down to 22nm FDSOI "and beyond." These are the types of technologies that European equipment and vehicles makers will require, he said

Caulfield also referenced back to a recent announcement in Singapore where Globalfoundries has broken ground on a wafer fab that is being paid for by a mix of the Singapore Economic Development Board and Globalfoundries with co-investments with committed customers (see GloFo breaks ground on $4 billion Singapore wafer fab). He said this would be a good business model for Singapore, the US and Dresden. "It takes partnership with government and customers."

Altmeier said that Globalfoundries, Bosch and Infineon had all benefited from the first IPCEI, and that this had in turn benefitted Germany.

Globalfoundries has applied for funding under IPCEI-2. While the funding under IPCEI comes from national entities it is organized by the European Union. Initial approval of the IPCEI-2 could come later this year with final approval in 2022.

When asked specifically if Globalfoundries has a plan for a next wafer fab build out at Dresden Caulfield said: "We have a master plan. We will need to add manufacturing capacity. We need the right economics and co-investment to be in place. This will come with IPCEI-2."

Related links and articles:

www.globalfoundries.com

News articles:

Globalfoundries plans up-front payments to expand manufacturing

GloFo breaks ground on $4 billion Singapore wafer fab

Intel in talks with Bavaria over wafer fab location

Germany to help Europe invest 'billions' in chip manufacturing


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