GlobalFoundries swallows up Chartered


— 10:06 AM on January 14, 2010

Only four months have passed since GlobalFoundries majority owner ATIC made a bid to acquire Chartered Semiconductor, but things apparently proceeded quickly from there. GlobalFoundries now says Chartered and itself have started operating as a simple company under the GlobalFoundries umbrella.

The merger not only adds five 200-mm fabs and one 300-mm fab to GlobalFoundries' capacity; it brings in additional business, as well. GlobalFoundries now has more than 150 customers in total, including major semiconductor players like AMD (which was already a Chartered partner before this merger), IBM, Qualcomm, and STMicroelectronics—and the combined company only plans to pursue more.

Put together, GlobalFoundries and Chartered posted combined revenue of $2 billion for 2009, and they expect yearly capacity to increase to 1.6 million 300-mm wafers plus 2.2 million 200-mm wafers by 2014. Also, since all of Chartered's fabs are located in Singapore, GlobalFoundries is really living up to its name:

The combined company employs approximately 10,000 people around the world, anchored by headquarters in Silicon Valley and advanced manufacturing operations in Singapore; Dresden, Germany; and a new leading-edge fab under construction in Saratoga County, New York. These sites are supported by a global network of R&D, design enablement, and customer support in Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Speaking of the New York fab, GlobalFoundries says it's still on track to start ramping production in 2012, although it'll now be called Fab 8, not Fab 2 as initially planned. The company also intends to expand capacity at Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany and Fab 7 in Singapore.

The announcement doesn't say how this merger impacts AMD's stake in GlobalFoundries, but that's not too surprising. When Intel and AMD agreed to settle all their legal disputes in November, Intel gave AMD carte blanche to get all of its processors manufactured in third-party fabs. (Previously, the two firms' cross-licensing agreement imposed limits on outsourcing.) AMD said at the time that these new terms could allow GlobalFoundries and Chartered to merge—looks like it was right.

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