It has been three years since AMD originally announced plans to build its next 300mm fab in upstate New York but now under the guise of spin-off, Globalfoundries, the project is now set for formal groundbreaking in July, 2009. However, the ‘Fab 2’ project is expected to take two years to build and a further 12 to 18 months to ramp. Globalfoundries said that volume production was ‘anticipated in roughly 2012,’ a six year cycle with a yet to be determined end. Ironically, due to the historically low capital spending in the semiconductor industry, Fab 2 is currently the only 300mm fab to start construction in 2009.
When first announced, the facility, then dubbed Fab 4x was expected to cost approximately US$3.4 billion but now that figure was said by Global foundries to be nearly a US$ billion more at US$4.2 billion. Construction cost increases and the expected rise in equipment costs for technology capable of 22nm and below fabrication, including the possible use of EUV lithography are believed to be responsible for the rise in project costs.
Indeed, with the cost of construction of the average 300mm fab only 25% of the total cost of the facility, the US$800 million said to cover the ‘local construction expenditures,’ could indicate that equipment costs at future leading-edge technology nodes continue to account for a growing percentage of the total cost of such facilities.
The company reiterated that approximately 1,600 new construction jobs would be created during the build phase, plus an additional 2,700 local construction-related jobs. The Fab 2 project is expected to create approximately 1,400 new direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs and approximately 5,000 new indirect jobs in the region.
Globalfoundries was expected to announce the start of construction soon, as the incentives set-out by the State of New York of over US$1 billion would expire in July, 2009.
Globalfoundries key milestones for the new fab.
• April: Purchase 222 acres of land at LFTC
• April: Officially announce General Contractor
• April: site clearing and grading begins
• June 16: official groundbreaking/first concrete poured
• July 17: first steel erected
• July 2010: building shell completed
• July 2011: fab completed
• 2012: manufacturing begins