Semiconductor giant GlobalFoundries is putting down "roughly $1.5 billion" toward the expansion of its semiconductor manufacturing capacity. That's double GlobalFoundries usual yearly tech expansion fund, and it could mark a promising future for the wafer industry.
According to David Reeder (opens in new tab), the company's Chief Financial Officer, future wafer supply will be pre-allocated in order to gain upfront funding for this massive expansion. He notes that a third of the total amount will come from these customer and partner pre-orders.
Anandtech (opens in new tab) elaborates, explaining that GlobalFoundries has a mind to erect at least a new fabrication plant near the company's Fab 8 in Malta, New York, as well as increase the capacity of it's Fab 1, near Dresden, Germany.
All this points to production capacity increasing to around 13 percent over 2021 numbers, and by 2022 we could see that number rise to 20 percent.
As we've mentioned before, semiconductor capacity is incredibly tight right now. GlobalFoundries main competitor, TSMC, has turned to auctioning off "excess capacity" (opens in new tab) at a premium, even after the company's manufacturing capacity was supposedly all booked up until 2024.
And considering some of TSMC's main wafer plants are under threat by the Taiwanese water crisis (opens in new tab), more options for customers will certainly be welcomed across the seemingly barren wafer production landscape. While the move may not have immediate effect on our current woes concerning chip availability, eventually it will translate into substantial relief for the industry.
Following the EU's incitement of the Digital Compass plan (opens in new tab), which promises a whopping €140 billion ($166 billion) investment across the board, and U.S. President Biden's order to review the risks (opens in new tab) faced across the semiconductor manufacturing industry, it's likely this is the start of a positive trend to bolster and balance an industry currently dominated by TSMC.
It feels strange for a tech writer to be saying this, but hopefully demand doesn't keep increasing. Because right now supply can barely keep up.