Build them and they will come?

1 min read

The State University of New York (SUNY) and its Centre for Nanoscale Electronics is rapidly developing into the centre of power in the electronics industry. It's already the site for the G450C project – in which GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are collaborating to develop 450mm process technology. Now, it's announced what could amount to a $45billion investment to build three 450mm fabs.

What SUNY hasn't said is who will occupy these fabs – and it's an interesting question. The partners in G450C, with the possible exception of IBM, are likely to build 450mm fabs in the next few years, but would any of them want to use upper New York State as their base? Intel has generally used existing sites when it rolls out new technology – it's already building what amounts to a 'test fab' at a site in Oregon. Ireland has been mentioned as the possible site for another Intel 450mm fab, as has Israel. Then there's TSMC. It will move to 450mm, but the fab will be in Taiwan. Samsung will probably stay in Korea, which leaves GlobalFoundries as a potential tenant. If so, that leaves two fabs; with the 'usual suspects' discounted, who will use them? Might it just be that New York is adopting the Field of Dreams approach? Build them and they'll come?