Teeth make smiles, and smiles make sales - Unidentified Harrods person in Alan Sugar's The Apprentice
GLOBAL FOUNDRIES IS CHIP SHAPE and moving forward as planned according to its CEO, Doug Grose.
Grose told press at a recent media summit the fab industry was set to see some serious consolidation in the coming months but said the foundry market was "huge" and "growing at a pace faster than the overall market".
"We have to bring together the best and the brightest," said Grose, praising the "very able team," Global Foundries has been cobbling together, adding that important more new hires would be announced over the coming weeks. A big step in that direction, said Grose, was that GloFo had already snapped up AMD's old 70-person design team from Dresden, the "seed" he said he hoped would lead to bumper future chip crops.
The fab chief set out what he saw as the company's "keystones", including the firm's global nature, its drive towards innovation, collaboration within the IBM Alliance and "agility".
"Our model is a little different; we're not going to move backwards," Grose said, explaining how the foundry would focus on 45nm, a quick ramp to 32nm and then move on to 22nm and beyond. "32nm is a step forward," he added, confirming Global Foundries would be able to produce in bulk as well as SOI high performance and would chip away to ensure "more complex designs, more complex tech" and to "get into the marketplace quickly".
Repeating the well-known mantra, Grose gushed about his foundry's "really leading edge capability" and promised the firm's model would evolve in order to cope and "tunnel through" any red brick walls it might come up against, be they increasing process, R&D costs or otherwise. The GloFo CEO expressed his belief the foundry market would undergo some significant consolidation but that the good news was "opportunity is only going to continue," because, "this is a huge market".
Throwing down the gauntlet to challengers in the space, Grose declared he was willing to bet GloFo's 300mm wafer producing Fab 1 in Dresden would be "one of the largest footprints in leading edge." He reaffirmed the company's goal to be "truly global," with both manufacturing and innovation spread worldwide.
The self-proclaimed "leading edge digital foundry" is known to be currently floundering for customers but according to Grose, 12-14 customers are already "potentially" ready to sign on the dotted line."We're well versed in SOI" and have "the resources ready. " he said.
With just a hint of desperation, Grose admitted how important it was for his firm to bag new clients, emphasising "the first customer will be EXTREMELY important to us".
Initial customers, he said, would bring their own IP, but this could well change somewhere down the line as GloFo gets its own design teams up and properly running.
Taking a pot shot at TSMC, Grose said firms shouldn't have to worry about their security supply ,"where their assets are being run in Asia," adding - just in case no one heard him the first few times - "We're open for business [...] We're ready to go".
Grose also expressed hope that with AMD's six billion dollar commitment and ATIC's long term investments, Global Foundries would achieve its near-term goal of becoming "a solid second" to TSMC in the fab space, overtaking UMC.
Long term, GloFo ultimately plans to take over as the industry leader, but Grose was both cautious and modest about his aims, noting there were still a fair few steps to take along the yellow chip road. µ
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