GlobalFoundries this week reiterated plans to invest $1.4 billion this year in expansion of its manufacturing capacities across the world. Around one third of the sum will be co-invested by GlobalFoundries' customers who want to ensure that they have capacity allocation for years to come. The world's fourth largest foundry is also mulling to bring forward its IPO to late 2021 ahead of its original 2022 date.

In any typical year, GlobalFoundries spends about $700 million on expansion of its production capacities, however growing demand for chips has made clear the need for faster than normal groth - as a result the company is to invest $1.4 billion on expansion this year. The money will be divided equally between GlobalFoundries' sites in Dresden, Malta (New York) and Singapore, according to Reuters. Production capacity is expected to increase by 13% this year and by 20% next year as a result of the increased funding.

Last year GlobalFoundries said that it planned to significantly increase capacity it its Fab 1 located near Dresden. The company's German facility produces chips using 22FDX, 28SLP, 40/45/55NV as well as BCDLite technologies that are particularly important for automotive, mobile, IoT, and industrial applications. Capacity of Fab 1 in 2021 is expected to be in the range between 400,000 and 500,000 wafer starts per year. Increasing that number means that GlobalFoundries will be able to better address high-growth applications.

GlobalFoundries expects to raise around a third of $1.4 billion from its customers that will pre-pay to guarantee supply over the following years, the CEO of the company told Reuters. He did not name the clients.

In addition to boosting its existing production facilities, GlobalFoundries is also looking forward building another fab adjacent to its Fab 8 located in Malta, New York. Funding of the new facility will largely depend on subsidies and incentives provided by the U.S. Government and the state of New York as parts of the CHIPS for America act introduced last year. It should also be noted that Fab 8 in Malta recently recieved ITAR certification for DoD production on its 45 nm process, expanding GlobalFoundries' value as a home-grown chip manufacturer to the US government.

Back in 2020 GlobalFoundries earned approximately $5.7 billion in revenue, down from $6.176 billion in 2017. The company projects that in 2021 its revenue will grow by 9% to 10% year-over-year as a result of unprecedented demand. 

Since demand for chips is growing and governments have investments almost ready to go, it would seems to be a good time for GlobalFoundries' initial public offering. Previously GlobalFoundries planned to go public in late 2022 or early 2023, but the company appears to be thinking about bringing it forward into the late 2021 timeframe. Currently GlobalFoundries is wholly owned by Mubadala, an Emerati state-owned holding company.

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  • Spunjji - Monday, March 8, 2021 - link

    No. GF cancelled 7nm development more than 2 years ago:
  • del42sa - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    no, they didn´t cancelled anything:
    "Despite having installed at least one EUV machine at its Fab 8 facility in Malta, N.Y., all those plans are now on indefinite hold, the company announced Monday."
  • scineram - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

  • haukionkannel - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Exactly! GF don`t have money for highend nodes!
  • Gondalf - Sunday, March 7, 2021 - link

    Not much high end. Reporderly 3nm is barely an half node over 5nm (there is an intersting article here on Anandtech).
    This the reason Intel will stay on 7nm for a lot, but Intel will produce low end i3 cpus on TSMC 3nm.
    This is a clear indication that 3nm is only 40% in average more compact versus 5nm and Intel 7nm is 20% more compact of TSMC 5nm.
    There is an advantage over compactness, likely Intel 7nm is capable of far higher clock speeds versus 3nm with only a small disasvantage in silicon area. The power consumption will be fixed with better materials. We all know 10nm++ have 15% less power consumtion over 10nm+.
    We barely will be able to distinguish a Genoa from a Whitley Lake from a power consumption point of view.
    In short words we can not give much credit to 3nm, it was thinked mainly for Phone SOCs and performance like second chance. It have sense for Intel produce low margins and low clocked SKUs on TSMC new half node.
    IMO Tsmc 5nm will be the last chance for AMD to push on process, sub 5nm is only a tradeoff,
    the reason?? 3nm require EUV double patterning, that is an seppuku on Foundry margins.
    Very happy Intel to avoid this silicon suicide. LIkely TSMC will go in red on 3nm Fabs.
    The real 3nm will born several years from now with the new EUV scanners capable of that geometries with a single exposure. Unfortunately these machines are VERY late.
  • HyperText - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Good news for ASML :)
  • rocketbuddha - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Global Foundries is the ITANIUM of the chip manufacturers. Brillaint power points, flush with SWF money, buying/rolling over competitors and still managed to become worse and worse.

    They literally had 12nm FD-SOI gifted from IBM when they acquired IBM micro and are unable to productize/commercialize it.

    Now that the Gulf money had stopped, they are now leeching on subsidies by the US and EU governments. LOL!

    If SMSNG opens its latest fab in TX (3nm and below) and TSMC's latest (3nm below)rumored in AZ, why will US Gov pay GF for 45nm production??
  • Smell This - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Y A W N
  • Kakti - Saturday, March 6, 2021 - link

    Because the use cases don't require leading edge tech. DoD projects have timelines measured in decades, and once a product is certified they don't just swap in the latest chips every year. If the purchase order was for 10million 45nm chips over the next five years, that's what GF will produce. If a processor is going into a fighter jet, you'll be making that same chip for the next 15-20 years; once the design and product is certified it does not change unless there's a major overhaul.

    There are several issues with leading edge chips. A new architecture could possibly have undiscovered security flaws. They are expensive. They don't have decade+ track records. Plus for some applications smaller architectures themselves are a problem. Radiation hardened chips are made on "old" 65nm and 45nm processes because they want the transistors physically spread out. When you cram the transistors together in a 14nm or 10nm design they are far more susceptible to developing (multiple) errors if high energy particles hit them. Just like regular silicon becomes flooded with current leakage below 5nm, for military/space applications you cannot risk the processors flipping bits if an energetic particle hits them.

    And again, they don't need or want some 125W 5ghz processor that costs an arm and a leg when a trusty 10w 3ghz processor for 1/10th the cost gets the job done.
  • Spunjji - Monday, March 8, 2021 - link

    Hell, for space applications they tend to run in the Mhz range.

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