GlobalFoundries Breaks Ground On New York Facility

AMD-derived GlobalFoundries broke ground today on what will become the company's leading-edge manufacturing facility and (according to it, at least) the largest and most technically-advanced fab in the United States. The $4.2 billion facility should start production within two years, and is expected to begin volume production in 2012. Currently, GlobalFoundries predicts the plant will debut using 300mm wafers and 28nm process technology, only to transition to 22nm as it enters volume production. Those numbers frankly seem optimistic.

Over the last nine years, it's taken AMD two years or more to launch products at any given node. There were a number of technological issues that had to be overcome to bring 45nm online, and it took AMD/GlobalFoundries about 2.5 years to do the job. In order to reach the 22nm node by 2010, GlobalFoundries would need to move through 32nm production at a breakneck pace. The company could be talking about bulk silicon production, but it would still be surprising to see the company move so quickly, and a 32nm ramp in 2010 with 28nm online in 2012 seems much more realistic. On the other hand, if GF can pull off its own prediction, it would significantly close the process technology adoption lag time between AMD and Intel.

The Fab 2 facility will directly or indirectly create some 6400 jobs in New York state, which helps explain the record $1.2 billion in incentives the state provided to seduce GlobalFoundries to build there. "With the development of Fab 2, we’ll take the first steps in realizing our vision to harness resources and talent on a worldwide basis to enable our customers product innovation to come to market faster and on the most advanced technology platforms," said Doug Grose, chief executive officer of GlobalFoundries. "Combined with our facility in Dresden, this fab will provide customers access to a truly global foundry, offering scale, operational excellence and leading-edge manufacturing capabilities."

When AMD reported its financial earnings for the second quarter of 2009, company representatives stated that they expect GlobalFoundries to announce its first non-AMD customer within 30 days. Stay tuned.