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ATIC invests big in GlobalFoundries, Abu Dhabi

by Steve Kerrison on 2 June 2010, 01:54

Tags: GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ATIC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qayjm

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Following Douglas Grose at GlobalFoundries' Computex press conference was ATIC CEO Ibrahim Ajami. Grose expressed a great deal of gratitude for the company's largest investor - which is putting $3bn this year into the company's capacity expansion projects - and having hinted at the company's long term plans, allowed Ajami to detail ATIC's vision for a semiconductor industry in the Middle East

Ajami began by asserting Abu Dhabi's position as a rich country with immense resources beneath its land - the kind of resources you need to invest in capital-heavy businesses such as semiconductor foundries. He explained the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 - a 20 year plan to diversify the region's economy. High tech industry features highly in the plans for Abu Dhabi, with Ajami seeing Global Foundries as pivotal in bringing the semiconductor industry to it.

Such a venture is expensive and requires long-term development, but Ajami sees the industry as "a good fit for Abu Dhabi". The industry will not appear tomorrow, Ajami said, but present plans for investment in Abu Dhabi over 5 years will create an ecosystem for successful creation of a new GlobalFoundries installation.

Indeed, the canvas is essentially blank at present, with no existing infrastructure or people - no ecosystem to speak of as of yet. There will be emphasis on "investing in future talent", with new degrees and clean-room training for skilled manufacturing. 3sq km of land next to Abu Dhabi International Airport has been earmarked for GlobalFoundries' eventual semiconductor cluster.

ATIC will be seeking to attract further investment and partners, but details of exactly what will happen are scarce. The money is there, and the long-term goals, but at present all we really know is that Ajami sees GlobalFoundries at the centre of Abu Dhabi's new semiconductor cluster.



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