GlobalFoundries 'committed' to Building Abu Dhabi Plant

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GlobalFoundries is on track to build a future chip manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi, but details of the company's plans remain scarce.

"We're committed to establishing a technology and manufacturing presence there in the coming years but we're not willing to go into too much detail on timelines and costs just quite yet," said Jon Carvill, a GlobalFoundries spokesman in an e-mail. "Adding a presence there is part of our overall strategy to further diversify our capacity and technology across a global footprint."

GlobalFoundries announced plans for the Abu Dhabi plant in June. At that time, the company said its majority shareholder, Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), had selected a site, measuring three kilometers square, adjacent to the Abu Dhabi airport for the plant, which it billed as a "future advanced technology cluster" for the Middle East.

GlobalFoundries will likely offer more details about its plans for the Abu Dhabi plant later this year, Carvill said.

Carvill's comments came in response to questions about a Dow Jones Newswire report that ATIC plans to spend up to US$7 billion to build the Abu Dhabi plant.

The plant, which will use 300-millimeter silicon wafers, will be operated by GlobalFoundries and will enter production in 2014 or 2015, said ATIC CEO Ibrahim Ajami, quoted in the report.

GlobalFoundries, which was created when AMD spun off its manufacturing arm, aims to challenge Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) for dominance of the contract chip market. Contract chip makers, also called foundries, produce chips for companies that can't afford the multibillion dollar plants and R&D expenses that are required to keep pace with the cutting edge of technology.

GlobalFoundries has chip plants in Singapore and Germany, and is building a cutting-edge factory in New York.

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