AMD's former chip-making unit dubbed 'Globalfoundries'

'The Foundry Company' no more


AMD's former chip-making business is now "Globalfoundries." Well, technically, it's "GLOBALFOUNDRIES," but we don't play that capitalization jive.

You'll remember Globalfoundries as Advance Micro Devices' debt-dependent semiconductor unit which the company spun out with ATIC, the investing arm of the government of Abu Dhabi. Since the deal was first announced back in October 2008, we've been calling the chip fabbing biz by its provisional name, The Foundry Company.

The company will be making chips for AMD as well as other fabless third-party firms. It's not naming names, but the top companies that lack chip manufacturing units and must surely be in Globalfoundries' cross hairs are Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Nvidia.

For those keeping track of titles, Globalfoundries cutting the ribbon means AMD is now officially no longer a chip maker, but instead a chip designer and seller. And just because we can hardly ever resist a cheap shot, we'll remind you that back in 1998, AMD said fabless chip companies are operating a flawed business model and destined to become bottom feeders. My, how times change!

Globalfoundries is helmed by Doug Grose, ex-senior vice president of AMD's manufacturing operations. The company's chairman of the board is Hector Ruiz, formerly executive chairman and chairman of the board at AMD.

It's their birthday, so we'll let them gush:

"The launch of Globalfoundries represents a historic day for our industry, one which will permanently change the market landscape by launching the world's first truly global foundry services provider," said Grose in a statement.

Manufacturing will initially be based on Globalfoundries' existing plant in Dresden, Germany. The company will expanding its German ops by bringing a second 300mm manufacturing facility online there in late 2009. The Dresden unit will be renamed Fab 1, with one module focused on production of 45nm chips, and the other on 32nm chips.

Globalfoundries will also break ground on a new $4.2bn manufacturing plant at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York some time in 2009. The new Fab 2 plant will work on 32nm and smaller features. The new plant will employ about 1,400 workers, and according to Globalfoundries, will be "the only independently-managed advanced semiconductor manufacturing foundry" in the US. Sounds like a plan. ®


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