Taiwan’s GlobalWafers inks long term supply deal with Global Foundries

26, Feb. 2020

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

TAIPEI, NNA— Taiwanese silicon wafer maker GlobalWafers Co. said Monday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Silicon Valley chip producer to help ensure a long-term supply of wafers for 5G consumer electronics.

The Taiwanese signatory inked the deal with Global Foundries Inc. to manufacture 300-millimeter silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. The American side of the deal plans to apply its SOI technology for GlobalWafers’ expansion of its 300-millimeter line. The two firms said in a statement they intend to build chips that run speedily yet on low power for new mobile and 5G applications.

“Through the collaboration, we will be able to leverage GlobalFoundries’ industry-leading technology to optimize our manufacturing process, and supply refined products to them as well,” a GlobalWafers spokesman in Taipei told NNA Tuesday.

Wireless and 5G devices “represent a significant opportunity” for GlobalFoundries and the firm’s technology helps run more than 85 percent of smartphones sold today, the statement says, quoting GlobalFoundries senior vice president Bami Bastani.

The Silicon Valley factory has sourced 8-inch wafers from its Taiwanese partner already, which are made in the United States, the spokesman said. “So, it’s very likely we will expand the 12-inch wafer capacity there,” he said.

Details on the deal, such as expected output and profits, are not yet available as the agreement was just signed, the spokesman said.

GlobalWafers has six manufacturing affiliates in China, Japan, Denmark and the United States.

GlobalWafers is suffering limited impact from the COVID-19 respiratory disease outbreak because a key plant in China has partly resumed operation while plants in Taiwan and Malaysia backfill any lost productivity there, the spokesman said.

The Taiwanese firm reported monthly revenue of 4.2 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.4 billion) in January, a 19.4 percent drop from the same month of the previous year. But it logged its second highest revenue ever of NT$58.1 billion in 2019, according to a financial statement on the company website.