SINGAPORE - GlobalFoundries is set to create about 1,000 jobs, including new roles for technicians and engineers, with the semiconductor giant's new manufacturing plant here on track to be operational in 2023.
The company on Thursday (June 23) moved its first tool into the plant, which is located in its existing Woodlands campus. The new facility will include 250,000 sq ft of cleanroom space and new administrative offices.
A cleanroom is a controlled environment where pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes and aerosol particles are filtered out in order to provide the cleanest area possible. Most cleanrooms are used for manufacturing products such as electronics, pharmaceutical products and medical equipment.
GlobalFoundries’ milestone was achieved in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board and co-investments from customers. The plant is being built amid a global chip shortage.
Once complete, the new facility will have the capacity to manufacture 450,000 wafers per year, bringing the total capacity of GlobalFoundries' facilities in Singapore to about 1.5 million wafers per year.
In June last year, GlobalFoundries said it would invest approximately US$4 billion (S$5.6 billion) to increase its production capacity to meet the increase in demand for semiconductor chips.
The company's chips are used in cars, smartphones, wireless connectivity equipment, Internet of Things devices and other applications.
The global shortage of critical semiconductors is likely to last at least through next year and perhaps longer, United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo had warned on May 31.
Dr Thomas Caulfield, chief executive officer of GlobalFoundries, said the company deals with material shortages by diversifying their sources both locally and internationally.
"If we see a potential shortage for one of our sources, we qualify another supplier for it," he said, adding that the company's turnaround time is around 90 days.
Dr Thomas Caulfield said that from a ground-breaking event hosted virtually in 2021 due to the global pandemic to the moving of the first tool into the new plant on Thursday, "we are delivering on our commitments to expand our global manufacturing footprint to meet the growing need in the marketplace for chips".
Singapore accounts for about one-third of GlobalFoundries' revenue and serves about 200 customers such as semiconductor companies Cirrus Logic and Qualcomm.
The manufacturer has about 4,800 employees here, around a third of its global headcount.
GlobalFoundries has five wafer plants here and has committed US$8 billion in fixed asset investments since its acquisition of manufacturing company Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing in 2010.