The Mubadala Investment Co Looks To Make Some Changes
In case you forgot, it was back in October of 2008 when AMD first announced it’s plans to go fabless, splitting off the fabrication portion of their business as the The Foundry Company and the divesting a large amount of their stock to a Mubadala subsidiary called Advanced Technology Investment Company. Not long afterwards, March 4 of 2009, GLOBALFOUNDRIES was born out of what was once AMD’s fab business and mere months later absorbed Chartered Semiconductor to come the fab we know now. In 2012 AMD divested themselves of their last shares in GLOBALFOUNDRIES, finally becoming a fabless semiconductor company.
Since then, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has absorbed IBM’s remaining microelectronics business, sold off Avera Semi to Marvell, investigated and then abandoning building a fab in China, and been wrapped up in legal battles with TSMC over patents which resulted in the two fabs signing a cross-license for all of their existing semiconductor patents which is in effect until 2029. All that time they would serve any customer they had capacity for and not just AMD.
Their story only gets more complex with the news that Intel is in negotiations with Mubadala to buy out GLOBALFOUNDRIES for about $30 billion, or at least that is what the rumour mill is saying. This does line up with what we have already been hearing from Mubadala Investment Co’s plans for an IPO later this year.
It also makes sense for Intel as it will vastly increase their fab capacity, both for their own chips and the other customers they have recently started fabbing for. If there is anything Intel needs right now it is more capacity to help them recover from the component shortages which have been plaguing us for some time now. It will also make them more competitive against TSMC and Samsung, the two other major fab companies.
Of course, this does raise some very interesting questions. Intel’s chips have lagged behind just about everyone else when it comes to shrinking their nodes, even stepping back from 10nm(+++) to 14nm for a recently released product. The purchase of GLOBALFOUNDRIES will give them access to the patents and processes GF has used to produce their current major 7nm node and smaller future ones; some of which they inherited from AMD.
Odd times to be an enthusiast.
Intel's new Chief Executive, Pat Gelsinger, in March said the company would launch a major push to become a chip manufacturer for others, a market dominated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Intel, with a market value of around $225 billion, this year pledged more than $20 billion in investments to expand chip-making facilities in the U.S. and Mr. Gelsinger has said more commitments domestically and abroad are in the works.