Last October, chipmaker AMD announced a bold move: to keep its costs under control, the company would go fabless, spinning off its factories in a partnership with Abu Dhabi into The Foundry Company. The spinoff would, naturally, make chips for AMD, but also take on manufacturing tasks for other companies. Meanwhile, AMD could focus on design—and would gain some financial stability from the deal.
Although the process has taken longer than anticipated, AMD’s spinoff company—now called GlobalFoundries—is up and running, with Doug Grose installed as CEO and former AMD head Hector Ruiz as chairman of the board. GlobalFoundries still has the same charter—handle AMD’s manufacturing needs as well as those of third-party customers—and GlobalFoundries is positioning itself as the world’s first semiconductor foundry, opening up the world of high-volume chip production to a variety of companies, not just high-end microprocessor manufacturers.
Although headquartered in the U.S., GlobalFoundries is moving ahead with plans to expand its facilities in Dresden, Germany, with a second 300mm manufacturing facility to come online in late 2009, with the facility focusing on 45nm and 32nm bulk silicon processes. The company also plans to begin construction of "Fab 2," a $4.2 billion facility in Saratoga County, New York, in late 2009: once completed, Fab 2 will be the only independently-managed advanced semiconductor facility in the United States.
Back at AMD, the company has appointed Bruce Clafin as chairman of the company’s board, taking over for Hector Ruiz. Dirk Meyer is continuing in his role as AMD’s president, CEO, and member of the board of directors.