One of the concerns that some had when Global Foundries was spun off from AMD was getting enough business to keep the processes running at near capacity, so as to keep the unit running towards profitability.

Now a story in PCWorld tells that cell phone chipset designer Qualcomm has entered into a deal with the company –

Global Foundries is likely to start manufacturing semiconductors for Qualcomm, the companies said Thursday, adding a major customer for the chip foundry as it looks to expand.

The companies have reached a nonbinding agreement under which Global Foundries will initially offer Qualcomm access to its advanced 45-nanometer and 28-nanometer manufacturing technology, they said in a statement. The companies intend to pursue a high-volume manufacturing deal and GlobalFoundries is expected to start accepting Qualcomm chip designs this year, they said.

Global Foundries used to be the manufacturing arm of Advanced Micro Devices but was spun off from the company last year. AMD has remained the foundry’s main customer, but it has sought to sign on others. Late last year it reached a deal to collaborate on the design of smaller chips with microprocessor design company Arm. Collaboration on development is also part of the foundry’s deal with Qualcomm.

Global Foundries is a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi. ATIC last month said it was ready to integrate the foundry with Chartered Semiconductor, a Singapore company it recently acquired. The move will expand the manufacturing capacity available to GlobalFoundries.

Even though the way that Global Foundries is set up is rather convoluted, what this means is that when Global Foundries runs at a profit, a load is taken off AMD to pull its weight too. So the people at AMD are certainly breathing a bit easier becuase of this.


History: An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.

Ambrose Bierce

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