GlobalFoundries announces second chip factory in Saratoga County
MALTA – GlobalFoundries on Monday announced plans to build a second computer chip factory in Saratoga County and spend $ 1 billion to expand production at its existing plant there.
The construction of the existing Fab 8 space, as the 10-year-old factory is called, will happen in the short term in response to unprecedented demand for computer chips.
The planning process is now underway for what would be named Fab 8.2, which will be built nearby on the same campus and will employ 1,000 people. The duration of this process is indefinite and its construction will depend on the injection of taxpayer money through a public-private model that must be agreed upon and would involve investments from clients and state and federal governments.
Now is the time for such a partnership, as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how thin the supply chain is for some critical components of the US economy and how dependent foreign production is.
A $ 250 billion spending program to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry – including billions in direct grants for the expansion of companies like GlobalFoundries – was passed by the U.S. Senate last month but n has not yet obtained House approval.
Speaking to an enthusiastic audience on Monday, GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield noted that US-based companies use 48% of the computer chips produced globally, but only 12% of all chips are made in America.
GlobalFoundries is ready to close the gap. Installing production equipment in the now unused floor space of the Fab 8 and building the Fab 8.2 would double the production of GlobalFoundries’ current operations in Luther Forest, Caulfield said.
“This new factory will require multi-billion investment and will not only support this manufacturing, but will also add around a thousand new jobs directly by GF and thousands of jobs indirectly, including construction and infrastructure jobs,” he said. he declared.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, DN.Y., and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo attended Monday’s announcement.
Schumer has steadfastly supported federal aid to computer chipmakers, and Raimondo has also made his support clear, saying the entire ecosystem needs to be developed – not just chip factories, but research and development. chips and employee training and education.
“Your industry underpins the rest of the economy,” she added. “It’s not about giving money to big business. This is a historic, once-in-a-generation investment in our economic security and national security. “
Responding to questions from reporters, Caulfield addressed a Wall Street Journal article last week that said Intel is in talks to buy GlobalFoundries: “There is nothing in this story,” he said.
He also discussed human infrastructure in a tight labor market still recovering from the pandemic.
GlobalFoundries currently has around 100 vacancies at Fab 8, will need an as yet undetermined number of additional workers once construction of the $ 1 billion Fab 8 is completed, and would need around 1,000 additional workers when Fab 8.2 will be done.
Caulfield said the company devotes about 5% of all hours worked by employees to training and considers the educational infrastructure in the Capital Region sufficient for GlobalFoundries’ needs at this time.
Monday’s announcement comes against the backdrop of a widespread computer chip shortage severe enough to dampen manufacturing, including the much-publicized slowdown in auto production.
A campaign to increase semiconductor manufacturing in the United States began in earnest in 2020, when an increase in remote working due to COVID led to strong demand for new and better electronic devices, highlighting the ability limited production from the United States for these critical components.
Speaking at a national security roundtable ahead of the announcement on Monday, Alan Shaffer, former deputy assistant defense secretary for acquisition and maintenance, said the fragility of the supply chain had been brought to light. evidence when the pandemic hit the United States and American cargo planes had to fly special missions to Italy to collect nasal swabs from the only manufacturer that could provide them.
Computer chips, of course, are much more sophisticated and more difficult to manufacture than nasal swabs.
“Seventy-five percent of what we use in defense systems comes from overseas… we have this tremendous fragility,” Shaffer said.
The US Senate passed the US Innovation and Competition Act last month, which provides for a $ 250 billion investment in the semiconductor industry, including $ 52 billion to boost US production of companies such as GlobalFoundries.
GlobalFoundries announced earlier this year that it will invest $ 1.4 billion in its semiconductor foundries in Germany, Singapore and the United States, but did not provide details. It announced last month that it would invest an additional $ 6 billion in the three countries, most of it in Singapore.
The billion dollars GlobalFoundries plans to spend on Fab 8 is independent of the public-private partnership it seeks to form to build Fab 8.2.
Since construction began in 2009, more than $ 15 billion has been invested in what is now called Fab 8. It is the workplace of nearly 3,000 people with an average annual income of around 87,000. $. GlobalFoundries moved its headquarters there earlier this year.
The remainder of its US workforce is about 2,200 people near Burlington, Vermont, and about 1,300 in East Fishkill, at a facility it has agreed to sell.
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