SAN JOSE, Calif. – Globalfoundries and city government officials from Chengdu, China, will break ground Saturday on a new fab valued at roughly $10 billion. The foundry simultaneously announced expansions for fabs in Germany, the U.S. and Singapore, although it declined to put dollar figures on them.
Globalfoundries suggested it is putting on the back burner a separate joint venture in Chongqing announced in May. It has a memorandum of understanding in that deal but it is focusing on Chengdu which appears to be a significantly larger, more promising deal.
The news comes at a time when China federal and provincial officials are competing in a race to build up a domestic semiconductor industry. Ironically the new joint venture comes one day after Intel announced at the White House it will spend $7 billion to restart its Fab 42 in Arizona.
Globalfoundries will be the majority owner and will operate the Chengdu fab. Additional terms are confidential, said a spokeswoman.
In the first phase, the fab will make 180/130nm chips using processes transferred from the foundry’s Singapore operations with production starting in 2018. Starting in 2019, it will make 22nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) chips with technology from Dresden as part of a second phase.
Under the earlier deal, the Chongqing government would have provided the land and built a fab to company’s specifications. That plan initially included bringing an existing China fab up to a 300mm capability, according to the press release, and transferring 180-130nm processes from Singapore, according to an interview with a foundry executive in January.
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