Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company announce a joint venture in processor manufacturing called Globalfoundries that looks to have global reach as a semiconductor foundry. The anticipated venture between AMD and ATIC, coming the same week that AMD's desktop and notebook chip rival Intel and TSMC made public a new relationship, includes expansion plans for an upstate New York campus, creating 1,400 area jobs.
As predicted, Advanced
Micro Devices has announced the creation of Globalfoundries,
the business formed through the spinoff of the
AMD's own chip manufacturing business.
Globalfoundries is a joint venture between AMD
and Advanced Technology Investment Company, of Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates.
The move enables AMD
to pass its manufacturing business to Globalfoundries,
freeing $1 billion
from its books and allowing it to focus on product marketing and processor
design, especially when competing against chip giant Intel.
"Globalfoundries will service the manufacturing needs of AMD
and will also offer an expanded road map of technologies to third-party
customers through its high-volume, global foundry services," said a March
4 statement announcing the official name of the company. "This means that
for the first time, early access to volume chip production using leading-edge
technologies will not just be limited to only high-end microprocessor makers."
In addition to AMD,
another new customer
will be ARM, a processor intellectual
"As consumers move to increasingly smaller and more energy-efficient
devices, we need to remain aggressive in our technology development and ensure [that]
we have a full range of foundries available for our partners to get those
products to market," Simon Segars, executive vice president and general
manager of ARM, said in a statement.
Globalfoundries is headquartered in Sunnyvale,
Calif., and begins operations with
approximately 2,800 employees worldwide.
Expansion plans already include a facility located in Dresden,
Germany, to be up and
running by late 2009. In addition, Globalfoundries is planning the construction
of a $4.2 billion manufacturing facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus,
in Saratoga County, N.Y.,
which is "expected to create approximately 1,400 new direct jobs and more
than 5,000 indirect jobs in the region."
The announcement of Globalfoundries comes just two days after Intel
and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing) announced a "memorandum of
in which TSMC will handle manufacturing for joint
projects in the future. Additionally, Intel will port its Atom CPU to TSMC's
technology platforms, and TSMC will have access to Intel IP and designs.
As with the AMD and ATIC collaboration to
create Globalfoundries, the goal of the Intel and TSMC agreement is to create
avenues through which to innovate within new markets.
"The announcements are absolutely tied," said John Spooner, an
analyst with Technology Business Research. "Globalfoundries is announcing
its existence and putting up its shingle and saying to chip makers, 'Come kick
the tires and look at our technology. See what we have to offer. And, of
course, we'd like your business.'"
While the two announcements are different in their specifics, Spooner said,
there's no coincidence in their timing. "As far as having the most
advanced technology, Intel is usually the fastest. What used to be AMD
is relatively close. Of the foundries, Globalfoundries may now be the quickest
to offer the newest technologies," Spooner said.
After some anticipation, Globalfoundries has announced
itself, Spooner said, "and now it's time for them to go out and earn some