GlobalFoundries invests $4 billion in Singapore semiconductor facility

The move comes as countries around the world are trying to attract chipmakers to set up plants in their territories amid a global chip shortage

GlobalFoundries (GF) has invested over $4 billion in a new facility on its Singapore campus, at a time where the US and other countries are trying to encourage companies to establish semiconductor plants in their territories.

The US-based company has made the investment, which will see the “most advanced semi manufacturing facility in Singapore” created, in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board. 

GF is planning capacity expansions to all of its manufacturing sites in the US and Germany to help meet the global demand for semiconductor chips. This will also see the construction of the expansion of its 300mm facility expansion in Singapore which is set to expand its capacity by 450,000 wafers per year, bringing the campus’s production to approximately 1.5 million wafers per year.

GF, which is owned by the UAE Mubadala Investment Company, also revealed the expansion will add 250,000 square feet of cleanroom space and new administrative offices to its facility, which will create 1,000 new jobs including technicians and engineers. The facility is predicted to open in 2023.

“GF is meeting the challenge of the global semiconductor shortage by accelerating our investments around the world. Working in close collaboration with our customers and the Government of Singapore is a recipe for success that we are pioneering here and looking forward to replicating in the US and Europe,” said GF CEO Tom Caulfield.

“Our new facility in Singapore will support fast-growing end-markets in the automotive, 5G mobility and secure device segments with long-term customer agreements already in place.” 

The US is currently looking to boost its domestic chip production over the next five years, at a time where a global chip shortage has impacted a number of industries. In May, the US Senate proposed spending $52 billion to boost chip production, with $120 billion dedicated to tech manufacturing and research in order to compete with China more effectively. 

The Biden administration has pledged to address the global semiconductor shortage, after industry leaders wrote to the president, asking him to fund semiconductor manufacturing and research in the administration's economic recovery and infrastructure plan.

The US is not the only country aiming to attract chipmakers, with TSMC reportedly thinking of opening its first chip plant in Japan as the country is trying to attract more foreign investment in this industry. The facility would sit near an existing plant owned by Sony, one of its key suppliers, and it would be a 12-inch wafer plant.

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