GlobalFoundries bags Qualcomm as a customer

AMD's spun-off foundry business has signed another big customer: wireless communications firm Qualcomm. GlobalFoundries and Qualcomm say they have "entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to collaborate on leading-edge technologies."

In short, GlobalFoundries will give Qualcomm access to its 45-nm and 28-nm low-power processes (as well as future process nodes), and Qualcomm will use GlobalFoundries' fabrication plant in Dresden, Germany to build chips for its wireless business. The press release talks of a collaboration on "handheld products that operate on the CDMA2000, WCDMA and 4G/LTE cellular standards, including the emerging smartbook device segment."

GlobalFoundries will start getting to work on Qualcomm designs later this year. Also, the two firms plan to carry out joint research on other areas, including die-package integration and 3D packages.

Qualcomm's portfolio includes ARM-based Snapdragon processors, wireless chipsets, and wireless technologies, among other things. iSuppli's list of top-10 semiconductor suppliers for 2009 ranked Qualcomm sixth behind STMicroelectronics (another GlobalFoundries customer), Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Samsung, and Intel. In this morning's press release, Qualcomm prides itself on using multiple foundry partners to maintain flexibility and consistent supply.

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