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AMD Doesn't Regret Spinning off GlobalFoundries

AMD co-founder Jerry Sanders, in 2009 was famously quoted as stating that "real men have fabs," a jibe probably targeted at the budding fab-less CPU designers of the time. Years later, AMD spun-off its silicon fabrication business, which with a substantial investment of the Abu Dhabi government through its state-owned Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), became GlobalFoundries (or GloFo in some vernacular). This company built strategic partnerships with the right players in the industry, acquisitions such as IBM's fabs, and is now at the forefront of sub-10 nm fab development. It remained one of AMD's biggest foundry partners besides TSMC and Samsung, and is manufacturing its AMD processors at a brand new facility in Upstate New York, USA.

AMD, on the other hand, doesn't regret spinning off GloFo. Speaking at Merrill Lynch Global Technology and Investment Conference, CTO Mark Papermaster said, that going fab-less has helped AMD focus on chip-design without worrying about manufacturing. Production is no longer a bottleneck for AMD, as it can now put out manufacturing contracts to a wider variety of foundry partners. Its chip-designers aren't limited by the constraints of an in-house fab, and can instead ask external fabs to optimize their nodes for their chip-designs, Papermaster said. 14 nm FinFET has added a level of standardization to the foundry industry.

Abu Dhabi and Saxony to Host Twin Semiconductor Research Labs

The Advanced Technology Investment Company and the state of Saxony, Germany, today announced the establishment of two research labs working in tandem on areas of interest to the semiconductor industry. The 'Twin Labs' project will be backed by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) and Saxony, which have each pledged US$2.4 million towards the plan over two years. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology will host the Abu Dhabi research center, while Technische Universität Dresden will oversee development of the Saxony lab.

Both sites will be of similar size, initially staffed with 10-12 graduate/Ph.D. students. Additional faculty members will be engaged at a later stage after the centers have established initial successes. Research will focus primarily on three-dimensional chip stacking, a potentially faster and more energy efficient semiconductor technology that follows ATIC's broader emphasis on minimum electronic energy systems, or MEES.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Marks Third Anniversary by Achieving Full Independence

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced it has agreed to terms with AMD to acquire the remaining stake in GLOBALFOUNDRIES, fulfilling the company's long-term vision of becoming an independent foundry company.

The agreement, part of an amendment to the commercial Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA) with AMD, firmly positions GLOBALFOUNDRIES as a pure-play, leading semiconductor foundry company with AMD as one of its primary and strategic customers. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will now be wholly owned by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC).

ATIC Makes Bid to Acquire Chartered Semiconductor

Advanced Technology Investment Company LLC (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing (Chartered) of Singapore today announced a definitive agreement whereby ATIC would acquire Chartered, one of the world's top dedicated semiconductor foundries.

The proposed acquisition will be effected by way of a scheme of arrangement under section 210 of the Companies Act of Singapore, subject to the approval of Chartered shareholders and the sanction of the High Court of Singapore. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2009. Completion of the transaction will be subject to customary conditions, such as regulatory and shareholder approvals. Details can be found in the joint scheme announcement that has been filed with the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX), as well as in the scheme document to be sent to Chartered shareholders.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Appoints Head of Design Enablement

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the new leading-edge semiconductor foundry company formed by a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), today announced the appointment of Curtis "Mojy" Chian as senior vice president of design enablement.

Chian brings more than two decades of leadership experience in silicon process technologies, most recently at Altera Corporation, where he served as vice president of technology development. At GLOBALFOUNDRIES, he will be responsible for global design enablement and will be the primary technical customer interface-working closely with customers to efficiently bring the world's most sophisticated chip designs to market.

AMD Reports First Quarter Results

AMD today reported first quarter 2009 results.
For financial reporting purposes, AMD consolidates the operating results of GLOBALFOUNDRIES in its results as of March 2, 2009 and has created the Foundry segment as of the start of the fiscal year. References to "AMD" in this announcement include these consolidated operating results which are reported for GAAP purposes. "AMD Product Company" refers to AMD, excluding the operating results of the Foundry segment and intersegment eliminations.
AMD reported revenue for first quarter of 2009 of $1.177 billion. First quarter 2009 revenue was flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2008 and decreased 21 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Intel Losing CPU Market-Share to AMD

With the introduction of the K8 architecture, years ago, AMD found inroads into significantly rising in market-share for CPUs, at the expense of Intel. That growth ceased with Intel's introduction of the competing Core microarchitecture, following which, AMD was pushed into some deep financial trouble. Eventually the company spun-off its manufacturing division to form the Globalfoundries with investment from Advanced Technology Investment Company, recently.

With the introduction of the 45 nm Phenom II series of processors however, sharp growths in demand for AMD have been observed, with Phenom II X3 700 series triple-core, and the Phenom II X4 920 quad-core desktop processors. The surge in demand is caused due to recent price-cuts by the company. Motherboard vendors forecast the overall global market-share for AMD desktop processors to go up by 30 percent in Q2, 2009. With a conservative-estimate of its current market share to be around 20 percent, the growth would send the figure to 26 percent. The company plans to further expand its desktop CPU lineup with the introduction of an entry-level desktop platform before September.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Key Leadership Additions

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a new leading-edge semiconductor foundry formed by a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), today announced key additions to its management team that bring extensive semiconductor experience to the table. Joining GLOBALFOUNDRIES Chief Executive Officer Doug Grose and Chairman of the Board Hector Ruiz are:
  • Jim Doran as senior vice president and general manager of Fab 1, the company's current primary manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany
  • Bruce McDougall as chief financial officer
  • Alexie Lee as vice president and general counsel

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, World’s First Global Semiconductor Foundry Opens for Business

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a new leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing company formed by a joint venture between AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), today announced its official launch and outlined plans to drive profound change and expand opportunities in the semiconductor industry. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is led by an experienced semiconductor management team, including CEO Doug Grose, formerly senior vice president of manufacturing operations at AMD, and Chairman of the Board Hector Ruiz, formerly executive chairman and chairman of the board at AMD. The Company is the only U.S. based global semiconductor foundry and commences operations with approximately 3,000 employees worldwide with headquarters in Silicon Valley.

AMD Closes “Asset Smart” Transaction, Form Global Semiconductor Company with ATIC

AMD today announced it has closed its Asset Smart strategic transaction with the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) and Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi, setting the stage for the formal launch of the world's only U.S.-headquartered semiconductor foundry, temporarily called "The Foundry Company." The Foundry Company is expected to formally launch and disclose its new name and visual identity later this week.
AMD received $700 million from ATIC for a portion of its ownership interests in The Foundry Company, The Foundry Company assumed responsibility for the repayment of approximately $1.1 billion of associated AMD debt, and Mubadala paid AMD approximately $125 million1 for 58 million newly issued AMD shares and warrants for 35 million additional shares.

AMD 32 nm CPU Conquest to Begin in 2010

After spinning off its manufacturing division to The Foundry Co., AMD is left with all the engineering resources it needs to make processors. Contradicting older roadmap slides by the company predicting it would start selling 32 nm processors in 2011, Dirk Meyer, CEO of AMD in an interview with Information Week said that the company is on-track to ship smaller, more powerful processors built on the 32 nm manufacturing process by 2010.

The new manufacturing process would allow the chip maker to step up transistor counts to add more features and computational power. Tomorrow, on March 2, the AMD is expected to close the deal with Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi to form The Foundry Company (TFC). This would render AMD fabless. The company will then, like other fabless market heavyweights such as NVIDIA and VIA, will focus on designing processors, while TFC, its largest foundry partner will manufacture the processors. Currently AMD is tied up with foundry companies such as TSMC and UMC for manufacturing products of its Graphics Products Group, products such as GPUs and chipset.

AMD will be an year behind larger market rival Intel in selling processors built on the 32 nm technology. Intel plans to roll out 32 nm processors by Q4 2009. AMD's designs will be ready by mid-2010, following which volume production of its 32 nm chips will commence by Q4 2010.

Power-Shift in Fab 36 Dresden, New Fab to Take Third-Party Orders

After a successful shareholder approval AMD received for spinning-off its manufacturing division to form The Foundry Company (TFC) with a majority stake holding by Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), top-brass of the Fab subsidiary in Dresden, German saw a power-shift. Long-standing general manager Hans Deppe left the company, to be succeeded by Jim Doran.

Doran's experience with the subsidiary covering Fab 36 (65 nm SOI capable) and Fab 38 (45 nm SOI capable) includes being its general manager in the past, which made with a contender to the post. The Dresden facilities will officially come under TFC from March 2. While as part of AMD the facilities were dedicated to manufacturing AMD microprocessor parts, under TFC, not only will they serve as foundry-partner for AMD, but also accept designs from other companies seeking manufacture on the facilities TFC offers.

AMD Stockholders Approve New Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

AMD today announced that its stockholders approved a proposal to issue common stock and warrants to an affiliate of Mubadala Development Company PJSC, paving the way for AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company of Abu Dhabi to create "The Foundry Company".
With the stockholder approval received today, all closing conditions for the creation of "The Foundry Company" manufacturing joint venture have been met, and the transaction is expected to close by March 2, 2009.
AMD stockholders approved a proposal to issue 58 million shares of the company's common stock and warrants to purchase 35 million shares of its common stock and 35 million shares of the company's common stock upon exercise of those warrants to an affiliate of the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, on the terms described in the proxy statement related to the Special Meeting of Stockholders that was held today in Austin, Texas.

The Foundry Company Gets Nod from CFIUS

The Foundry Company (TFC), AMD's manufacturing division spun-off along with investment from the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) had to go through a series of negotiations to acquire clearence from the investors and the governments under whom AMD operates, to get the new company operational. It is a complicated process since it involes a lot of foreign investment.

A major milestone for TFC is the clearence it got from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a US Government body that studies the possible implications of foreign investment on national security. TFC will control all of AMD's manufacturing assets including upcoming facilities in the US. AMD officially becomes fab-less though TFC will have commitments towards serving AMD as its foundry partner. AMD will hold a 34.2% stake in TFC while 65.8% of it will be held by ATIC.

AMD Responds to Intel's Publication Earlier Today

AMD spokesman reassured today that the deal between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company won't violate any of the patent agreements AMD made with its main competitor Intel. Let me remind you that earlier that day Intel said it would review its processor licensing agreement with AMD, especially the agreement which allows AMD to use Intel's x86 chip instruction set, to ensure the ATIC deal does not violate any patent agreements. Phil Hughes, an AMD spokesman, wrote in an e-mail today:
"We are completely confident the structure of this transaction takes into account our cross-license agreements,"
"Rest assured - we plan to continue respecting Intel's intellectual property rights, just as we expect them to respect ours."
Financial analyst Hans Mosesmann even believes that the dispute between the two giants may become a weapon for Intel to solve some of its problems in court. If Intel manages to find something is wrong with this deal it can use it against Advanced Micro Deviced and make AMD drop the long-standing anti-trust suits against the company. Continue reading the full story here.

AMD and ATIC of Abu Dhabi to Create New Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi today announced the creation of a U.S.-headquartered, leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing company to address growing demand for independent, leading-edge foundry production capabilities. The new global company, to be temporarily called "The Foundry Company", will serve this need by combining advanced process technology, industry-leading manufacturing facilities and aggressive plans to expand its global capacity footprint. At the same time, the Mubadala Development Company will increase its current investment in AMD to 19.3 percent on a fully diluted basis. AMD will contribute to The Foundry Company its manufacturing facilities, including two fabrication facilities in Dresden, Germany, as well as related assets and intellectual property rights.
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