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AMD's GlobalFoundries consumes Chartered Semi rival

Twice as many fabs as the Beatles

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Hot on the heels of its announcement last week that it had inked a wafer-baking deal with Qualcomm, GlobalFoundries - formerly the chip-making arm of Advanced Micro Devices - says that it has completed its acquisition and integration of rival chip manufacturer, Chartered Semiconductor of Singapore.

GlobalFoundries, still partially owned by AMD, is controlled by Advanced Technology Investment Company, an investment vehicle for the government of Abu Dhabi. In October 2008, ATIC kicked AMD $1.4bn in cash and assumed $1.2bn of its debt to get a 55.6 percent stake in the foundry operations, promising equity funding of at least $3.6bn and up to $6bn over five years to build out the foundry.

Last July, GlobalFoundries broke ground on a $4.2bn wafer baker in upstate New York, called Fab 4X at the time, which will use 300mm wafers and support 28 nanometer technologies initially when it comes online in 2012, then move on to 22 nanometer tech thereafter. This new fab will supplement AMD's GlobalFoundries' existing Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany, which is where AMD's chips are made. (And now, chips from STMicro and Qualcomm.)

Last September, in keeping with its promises to expand its chip baking, ATIC ponied up $3.9bn to acquire Chartered Semiconductor. The combined AMD-Chartered chip operations have 10,000 employees and over $2bn in revenues, according to GlobalFoundries, which has renamed the Chartered facilities Fabs 2 through 7 and the forthcoming New York facility as Fab 8.

Chartered had five older-generation 200mm facilities (Fab 2 through 6 now) and one 300mm facility (that's now Fab 7). The chip maker said that it plans to expand Fab 1 in Dresden (which will bring 32 nanometer, high-k metal gate processes to market this quarter with AMD's "Magny-Cours" Opterons) and Fab 7 in Singapore. With the addition of Fab 8 in 2012 and a ramp for the next two years, GlobalFoundries said it will be able to deliver 1.6 million 300mm wafers annually plus 2.2 million 200mm wafers from the former Chartered facilities. (This is what GlobalFoundries calls 5.8 million 200mm wafer equivalents.)

No word yet about GlobalFoundries' plans for 450mm wafers, but the chip industry is only now starting to argue about when and how to move to roomier wafers.

AMD got a little stock bounce out of the final merging of the two companies, since everyone expects AMD to eventually lower its stake in the chip-making company. ®

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