January 10, 2013

Malta center a step toward $10B next-gen fab

By: Eric Anderson

Source: Times Union

ALBANY — GlobalFoundries' $2 billion investment in its new Technology Development Center adjacent to Fab8 in Malta's Luther Forest Technology Campus is a stepping stone to the foundry's first next-generation semiconductor plant, CEO Ajit Manocha said Thursday morning.

Manocha, speaking at an event at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, said that GlobalFoundries was "committed to New York state," and that the company would move ahead with the $10 billion Fab 8.2, as he called it, "when we are ready."

The Technology Development Center, officially announced Tuesday by the company and by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, will be a "collaborative space to develop end-to-end technologies" for the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing, said Gregg Bartlett, GlobalFoundries' senior vice president and chief technology officer, who also spoke at the event.

GlobalFoundries is among a consortium of five major chip manufacturers that's developing the technology and manufacturing techniques needed to produce microprocessors on 450-mm, approximately 18-inch, diameter silicon wafers. Currently, the manufacturers use 300-mm, or 12-inch, wafers. That work is taking place at the so-called G450C building, which is nearing completion at CNSE. Others in the consortium include Intel, IBM, Samsung and TSMC.

Manocha on Thursday called the existing Malta fabricating plant Fab 8.1, distinguishing it from the potential future fab, and said that more than 2,000 people now work inside the massive concrete structure, with another 10,000 jobs surrounding the fab. He said that the Technology Development Center would employ 1,000 people and create another 4,000 to 5,000 jobs outside the fab.

It wasn't clear whether the outside jobs also included jobs in such sectors as retail and services, beyond those that provide technological support to the fab.

Manocha also credited CNSE and Alain Kaloyeros, calling the complex, also known as Albany Nanotech, "the most prestigious institute doing innovation and research in nanoscience" globally.

Kaloyeros, in introductory remarks, said GlobalFoundries, which was spun off from Advanced Micro Devices in late 2008, was now the second largest foundry worldwide and was "on its way to number one."

Thursday's event drew a number of politicians and business leaders, including Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, Saratoga County Economic Development Corp. President Dennis Brobston, Center for Economic Growth President and CEO F. Michael Tucker, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and Empire State Development Corp. President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams.

Kaloyeros, who heads CNSE, said GlobalFoundries $2 billion investment in technology research was "the largest of its kind so far in the industry," and that the 1,000 jobs would pay salaries in the $80,000 to $100,000 range.