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GF and GlobalWafers look to expand semiconductor wafer supply

Globalfoundries (GF), and GlobalWafers have announced an $800mn agreement to add 300mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer manufacturing and expand existing 200mm SOI wafer production at GWC’s MEMC facility in O’Fallon, Missouri.

The silicon wafers produced by GWC are key input materials for semiconductors and an integral part of GF’s supply chain. The wafers are used in GF’s manufacturing facilities, or fabs, where they are used to manufacture computer chips - this announcement expands GF’s domestic silicon wafer supply from the United States.

In particular, the 300mm wafers made at GWC’s MEMC site in Missouri will be used at GF’s most advanced manufacturing facility, Fab 8 in Malta, New York, and the 200mm wafers made at the Missouri site will be used at GF’s Fab 9 in Essex Junction, Vermont. These wafers will be used to create feature-rich semiconductor solutions to meet the sharply growing demand for GF’s advanced RF technologies across a range of applications including 5G smartphones, wireless connectivity, automotive radar, and aerospace.

The agreement includes nearly $210 million in capital expenditures to expand GWC’s MEMC facility in Missouri, and will create more than 75 new jobs. The 300mm pilot line is on track to be completed later this year. The agreement is strengthened by $9.4 million in investments and support from the State of Missouri, as well as support from the City of O’Fallon, Ameren Missouri, Spire, and Greater St. Louis.

GF is investing $1.4 billion in 2021 to expand its manufacturing capacity, to meet the needs of customers and address the growing global demand for computer chips. As part of this growth, GF will require an increased supply of wafers like those made by GWC.

GWC is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 200mm SOI wafers and has a long and ongoing relationship with GF for supplying 200mm SOI wafers. In February 2020, GWC and GF announced intentions to collaborate closely to significantly expand GWC’s existing 300mm SOI wafer manufacturing capacity.

“As a trusted semiconductor manufacturer and supplier to the U.S. government, and the world leader in RF semiconductor technology, GF has been leading the charge to accelerate U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and boost our capacity to meet the growing global demand for chips,” said GF CEO Tom Caulfield.

Author
Neil Tyler

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