Semiconductor fabricator GlobalFoundries has announced that it is to sell its 300mm wafer facility in New York's East Fishkill to On Semiconductor in a deal valued at £331 million.
Originally a spin-off from AMD, at the time eager to shore up struggling finances by switching to fabless chip production, and now an independent concern in its own right, GlobalFoundries has hit something of a bump in the road: After revealing a 2016 roadmap that would see 7nm production by 2018, the company was forced to put the node on indefinite hold in August 2018 owing, it claimed at the time, to customers' interest in sticking on proven larger process nodes for longer.
The announcement was followed by the news that the company was to spin out its application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and intellectual property (IP) design arm into a separate venture, followed by the formation of wholly-owned subsidiary Avera Semiconductor from GlobalFoundries' custom and semi-custom silicon business - a move which may telegraph a desire to find a buyer for the design side of the business, in much the same way as former paymaster AMD bolstered its finances with the manufacturing spin-off in the first place.
Now, though, GlobalFoundries appears to be looking for some quicker cash: The company has announced that it is to sell off its 300mm wafer fab in East Fishkill, New York, to On Semiconductor for £331 million in cash. As part of the deal, GlobalFoundries will use the facility to build parts for On Semiconductors starting next year and running through to 2022 when the facility will come under complete On Semiconductor control.
'On Semiconductor is an ideal partner for GlobalFoundries and this agreement is a transformative step in our journey to build GlobalFoundries into the world's leading speciality foundry,' claims company chief Tom Caulfield, in an interesting bit of spin for a company actively shrinking its manufacturing capabilities. 'This partnership enables GlobalFoundries to further optimise our assets globally and intensify our investments in the differentiated technologies that fuel our growth while securing a long-term future for the Fab 10 facility and our employees.'
The staff at the East Fishkill fab will move over to On Semiconductor at the close of the deal, the companies have confirmed, though neither outfit has guaranteed that there will be no job losses as a result of the transfer.
January 24 2020 | 12:00