Chipmaker GlobalFoundries to spend US$4 billion on new Singapore plant

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U.S. semiconductor giant GlobalFoundries will invest over $4 billion in its Singapore plant, increasing its capacity to about 1.5 million wafers per year. © GlobalFoundries
U.S. semiconductor giant GlobalFoundries will invest over $4 billion in its Singapore plant, increasing its capacity to about 1.5 million wafers per year. © GlobalFoundries

GlobalFoundries, a US-headquartered computer chip manufacturer owned by a United Arab Emirates state fund, is investing 4 billion dollars in a new factory in Singapore to help meet what it said is “unprecedented” demand for chips.

Chief executive Tom Caulfield said the new plant “will support fast-growing end-markets in the automotive, 5G mobility and secure device segments with long-term customer agreements already in place.”

GlobalFoundries, which is owned by the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co, said on Tuesday that it is also expanding other facilities in Germany and the US, with “worldwide semiconductor revenue projected to increase 2.1 times in the next eight years.”

The new Singapore factory has the backing of the Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency.

“The semiconductor industry is a key pillar of Singapore’s manufacturing sector,” according to EDB chief Beh Swan Gin, who described GlobalFoundries investment as “testament to Singapore’s attractiveness as a global node for advanced manufacturing and innovation. ”

Singapore’s exports rose by almost 9 per cent in May “in line with robust global semiconductor demand,” according to official data published last week.

The need for chips has soared in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and related curbs that have forced millions of people to work from home, pushing up global demand for computers and related electronics.

Manufacturers have struggled to keep pace and shortages of chips have been reported in recent months.

Production in parts of Asia has also been hampered by a recent resurgence of coronavirus case numbers in countries such as Malaysia.

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