Yesterday we attended Global Foundries Global Technology Conference 2011 in Hsinchu, Taiwan and although the company didn't reveal anything new in addition to what was announced at its conference in in Santa Clara a couple of weeks ago, as we didn't attend that conference, we thought we'd sum up some of the things the company is working on. As always with these kind of events, only so many details are revealed, as much of what Global Foundries does are company secrets, or it's related to its partners products and as such Global Foundries can't talk about a lot of the specifics.

Yesterday we attended Global Foundries Global Technology Conference 2011 in Hsinchu, Taiwan and although the company didn't reveal anything new in addition to what was announced at its conference in in Santa Clara a couple of weeks ago, as we didn't attend that conference, we thought we'd sum up some of the things the company is working on. As always with these kind of events, only so many details are revealed, as much of what Global Foundries does are company secrets, or it's related to its partners products and as such Global Foundries can't talk about a lot of the specifics.

It's clear that being in the foundry business is a risky thing, least not looking at the big ups and downs in the market which affects a foundry directly when customers end up with too much stock of a certain product. That said, since the early 1980's the year or year growth for the semiconductor industry has grown from US$15 billion to US$314 billion and it's expected to grow further as we're moving towards more connected devices. Jim Kupec, the SVP of sales and market at Global Foundries mentioned that today's biggest driving force for new devices are teenagers and although this might not be entirely true, a lot of the devices out there are targeting the younger end of the market.

That said, Global Foundries aren't exactly slowing down their investments as the company is busy investing in all of its facilities. It's facility in New York reached its “ready for equipment” date two months early and Global Foundries should be kicking off test production here this year, although this facility isn't expected to go into full production until early next year. Fab 1 in Germany has started volume production of 32nm parts for AMD earlier this year and it's also doing some 28nm production tests and it will transition entirely to 28nm in the near future. Fab 7 in Singapore has been upgraded to produce anything between 40 and 65nm and is currently under evaluation to move to 300mm wafers in the future. It's also worth noting that Global Foundries have several additional facilities in Singapore which are all production various kinds of solutions such as MEMS and special components for the auto industry etc.

By next year Global Foundries expects to be ramping its 28nm products and even start some initial 20nm production at Fab 8 in the US. Furthermore the company is expecting to ramp capacity in Fab 1, 7 and 8 as the company is expecting demand for what it calls leading edge technology (65nm and below) to increase and this is also where the company is seeing close to 70 percent of its revenues from.

Global Foundries also addressed the concerns that some outside observers have had with regards to its High-k Metal Gate manufacturing process and the company has produced 2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 test chip with its 28nm-SLP technology and hit 3GHz with its 28nm-HPP process. That said, AMD's Fusion processors in the A-series are also built using Global Foundries HKMG manufacturing process and despite being late, the volumes are ramping, although the company wouldn't go into any specifics here either due to non-disclosure agreements with AMD. All future processors from AMD for at least the next 12 months should be based on Global Foundries 32nm HKMG process, including the upcoming FX-series and AMD's next generation A-series APUs.