Globalfoundries: 5G for Qualcomm and ready for automotive

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As part of its own Technology Summit 2021, the contract manufacturer Globalfoundries will provide information about innovations in the company. A deeper cooperation with Qualcomm for 5G products and a new silicon photonics platform is announced. The successes with the 22FDX process and large investments are further topics.

Qualcomm as a closer partner

The existing cooperation with the smartphone chip developer Qualcomm should be expanded. For this customer, Globalfoundries is to “5G RF front-end products“, In the broadest sense of the word, produce high-frequency circuits for 5G products, which in turn can be expected in Qualcomm’s SOCs or modem chips.

The for RF-Products optimized version of the 22FDX process from Globalfoundries, which runs under 22FDX +.

22FDX collects more design wins

From Globalfoundries’ point of view, the 22FDX platform still has the best RF features. Together, 22FDX and 22FDX + are said to have combined design wins for potential sales of 7.5 billion US dollars. Just under a year ago, the contract manufacturer had spoken of orders worth US $ 4.5 billion for the process.

Fab 1 ready for automotive

Globalfoundries not only wants to serve the mobile and IoT sectors, but also the recently extremely rapidly growing automotive sector with semiconductor products for automobiles with the 22FDX process. In this context, it is now being announced that the 22FDX line in Fab 1 in Dresden has qualified as “Auto Grade 1 Ready”.

Investment of $ 6 billion

In order to be attractive to customers in view of the growing global demand for semiconductor products, Globalfoundries has to increase its own production capacities. Investments totaling 6 billion US dollars are to be made for this purpose. The sum includes the expansion of the facilities in Singapore, which was announced in July and which alone is expected to cost almost 4 billion, as well as investments in Dresden and the USA.

Even if the investments will stretch over years, they appear ambitious in view of an annual turnover of around 6 billion US dollars for Globalfoundries in 2020.

New silicon photonics platform

Another announcement is the new 45 nm platform for the production of silicon photonics. Silicon photonics is the emerging technology for transmitting data between computer chips with the aid of light, which is faster than electronic solutions. In this case, the silicon serves as an optical conductor.

According to Globalfoundries, the new platform will be the first for 300 mm wafer technology to be a micro Ring resonator (MRR) can be offered as an optical component.

The new technology is expected to be qualified for use in the first quarter of 2022.

Of course, TSMC, as the largest foundry in the world, has Silicon Photonics on its radar.

12FDX no longer in sight

Even if 12FDX with significantly smaller structures has been an issue for years, there is still no date for the availability of the process. The new manufacturing process should only come when the time is right and right for it. Due to the success with 22FDX, Globalfoundries does not see any reason for a quick change at the moment.

ComputerBase received information about this article from Globalfoundries under NDA. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication time.

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