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How GLOBALFOUNDRIES thinks it will win

by Scott Bicheno on 5 May 2009, 07:00


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Standing on its own two feet

The one thing AMD's spun-off manufacturing operation seems to hate being called is ‘AMD's spun-off manufacturing operation'. That's because GLOBALFOUNDRIES' (GF) mission, now that the transaction is complete, is to prove it's a lot more than that.

AMD is only a minority shareholder in GF, although it retains 50 percent voting rights in order for GF to still qualify as an AMD subsidiary and, hopefully, avoid violating the terms of AMD's cross licensing agreement with Intel.

However, in talking to GF's executive team on the site of its future new fab in upstate New York, it's clear that the separation from AMD is already well underway and that's exactly how they want GF to be perceived.

While some execs, including CEO Doug Grose, were brought over from AMD, a spate of new appointments is creating a more eclectic range of influences among the leadership. As Grose himself stressed in his introductory briefing on GF: "A key factor in the acquisition of new customers is establishing that we have the capacity to work independently of AMD. Our first customer will be extremely important."

This is essentially the reason GF flew to Saratoga Springs in New York State. The key to GF being a success as an independent foundry is to be perceived as just that. For that first, crucial customer (aside from AMD) to take a chance on GF, it will need to be convinced that GF is capable of delivering a top-notch semiconductor manufacturing service to companies other than AMD.