U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries has opened a $4 billion expansion fabrication plant in Singapore to meet the growing demand for essential semiconductor chips. The company expects the semiconductor industry to double in size over the next decade, driven by new applications and the increasing use of artificial intelligence. While demand from the automotive sector remains stable and the cloud for artificial intelligence is strong, consumer-related sectors still show weakness.
The new facility, spanning 23,000 square meters, will help GlobalFoundries increase its global manufacturing footprint and better serve customers across its sites in three continents. With an annual capacity of 450,000 wafers (300mm), the fab will raise GlobalFoundries Singapore’s total capacity to approximately 1.5 million wafers (300mm) per year.
The expansion also aims to create around 1,000 high-value jobs in Singapore, mainly consisting of equipment technicians, process technicians, and engineers. GlobalFoundries currently employs about 4,500 workers at its Singapore facility.
GlobalFoundries’s move to expand its presence in Singapore reflects the city-state’s status as a major supplier of semiconductors. According to the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association, Singapore supplies 11% of the world’s semiconductors.
As part of the expansion, GlobalFoundries will implement artificial intelligence tools to enhance productivity. These tools will include wafer pattern recognition technology that can automatically classify and identify defects in wafers.
Other major players in the semiconductor industry, such as TSMC and Samsung, have reported declines in second-quarter profits due to weak demand for memory chips. However, there are signs that semiconductor inventories are starting to stabilize. While inventories at semiconductor companies continue to climb, the inventory further down the supply chain, including system companies, is starting to decrease.
Global inflation and interest rates will need to be under control for consumer spending to recover, particularly in China. Once these aspects stabilize, the semiconductor industry is expected to see increased demand.
GlobalFoundries’s expansion in Singapore is a testament to the country’s industrial policies that attract high-tech manufacturing and innovation. As other nations realize the importance of semiconductor manufacturing for economic and supply chain security, they too are likely to adopt similar policies to establish their own competitive landscape.
With the opening of its new fabrication plant, GlobalFoundries is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for semiconductor chips across various industries, including automotive, artificial intelligence, and industrial applications. The company’s presence in Singapore will contribute to the country’s status as a key player in the global semiconductor market.
As the semiconductor industry continues to evolve and new applications emerge, GlobalFoundries remains optimistic about the future growth of the industry. With its state-of-the-art facility and commitment to innovation, the company is poised to contribute to the advancement of semiconductor technology and meet the increasing demand for essential chips.