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Glofo invests $1.4 billion to raise output

by on03 March 2021

Cash spent at three plants

GlobalFoundries will invest $1.4 billion this year to raise output at three factories in the United States, Singapore and Germany.

The move is supposed to help the global shortage of semiconductors and is part of a package of ideas to step up production in the long term. GloFo might bring forward its initial public offering to late 2021 or the first half of next year, from a previous target of late 2022 or early 2023.

It is aiming for revenue growth of nine to ten percent from just over $5.7 billion last year.

Automakers and electronics producers are facing a global shortage of chips which has fuelled manufacturing delays.

"The adoption of technology that would normally have taken a decade happened in one year in 2020 because of COVID-19", GlobalFoundries CEO Thomas Caulfield told Reuters.

Before the pandemic, the chip industry was projected to grow five per cent over a five-year horizon, and now it has accelerated to grow at twice that rate, he said.

While the supply crunch has resulted in car makers such as Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors cutting output, an increase in supply would create further demand.

GlobalFoundries said the $1.4 billion, which will be divided evenly among its fabs in Dresden, Germany, Malta, New York and Singapore, will ramp up output through 2022 to produce chips from 12 to 90 nanometers.

About a third of the investment will come from clients seeking to lock in supply over several years, Caulfield said, forecasting a 20 percent rise in production next year following an expected 13 percent increase in 2021.

If demand continues to rise, GlobalFoundries could build a new plant adjacent to its Malta, New York, plant after securing a purchase option agreement for about 66 acres of undeveloped land last year.

But a decision to break ground there would hinge on the US Congress funding a set of measures to incentivise chip manufacturing in the United States known as the Chips Act, which was approved last year.

"It's not a question of 'if,' it's just a question of 'when,'... And a key element of going forward will be the funding of the Chips Act", Caulfield said.

Last modified on 03 March 2021
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