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GlobalFoundries to open new fab in Singapore

US chip foundry GlobalFoundries is building a $4bn semiconductor fabrication plant in Singapore to expand its manufacturing capacity as chip demand surges worldwide

US chip foundry GlobalFoundries has started constructing a new wafer fabrication plant in Singapore to meet the growing demand for semiconductors spurred by new 5G networks, the internet of things and cloud computing, among other technology developments.

The new facility, located at the company’s Singapore campus at Woodlands Wafer Fab Park, will expand capacity by 450,000 wafers a year. The first production wafer is expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2023.

As the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the city-state, it is expected to enhance GlobalFoundries’ ability to provide radio frequency, analogue power, and non-volatile memory solutions for the global market.

Tom Caulfield, CEO of GlobalFoundries, said the new fab is an effort to address the global semiconductor shortage. “Working in close collaboration with our customers and the government of Singapore is a recipe for success that we are pioneering here and looking forward to replicating in the US and Europe,” he said.

Beh Swan Gin, chairman of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), said the semiconductor industry is a key pillar of Singapore’s manufacturing sector, adding that the new fab investment is testament to the city-state’s attractiveness as a global node for advanced manufacturing and innovation.

“It will help GlobalFoundries’ customers to strengthen the resilience of their supply chains, and also add to the vibrancy of our economy through the creation of good jobs for Singaporeans and business opportunities for our local enterprises,” he said.

The new fab is expected to create 1,000 high-value jobs, including technicians and engineers, who will have access to an additional 23,000m2 of cleanroom space and new administrative offices. The $4bn plant is being built with EDB’s support and co-investments from GlobalFoundries customers.

According to International Business Strategies, global semiconductor revenue is expected to increase 2.1 times in the next eight years. Industry experts have predicted that the world’s semiconductor supply could lag behind demand until 2022 or later.

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