Qualcomm basks in foundry Glo

Posted by Sylvie Barak in Las Vegas

AMD spin-off, GlobalFoundries is teaming up with Intel’s biggest but most silent threat, Qualcomm, in an agreement which will see the fab Fab build chips for the wireless company in a bid to further its “mobile product innovation.”

Taking it all to the extreme, the firms said they would be taking tech to the “leading edge” and pumping up the volume in a “High-Volume Manufacturing Engagement.” To which we can only wish them, Mazal Tov.

The apparently non-binding memorandum of understanding means Glofo will Qualcomm use its 45nm Low Power (LP) and 28nm (LP) technologies with intent to collaborate further in future on even more advanced process nodes.  

This apparently is down to Qualcomm’s pushy punters demanding “more performance, lower power, functionality and portability in their mobile experiences,” the ingrates.

No surprise then that Jim Clifford, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm’s CDMA operations, breathed a sigh of relief that Glofo – with its manufacturing capacity and technology roadmap - would be “well positioned to help us enable the next generation of wireless innovation.”

Qualcomm prides itself on its Integrated Fabless Manufacturing (IFM) model, which entails a multi-foundry approach, ensuring there are minimal product supply issues. In other words, the firm doesn’t keep all its eggs in the one basket.

The budding relationship with Glofo means the Fab will get a chance to work with the wireless giant on its handheld products, especially those running on CDMA2000, WCDMA and 4G/LTE cellular standards – which would include the growing-ever-popular smartbook device segment.

“As one of the largest and most successful semiconductor design companies in the world, Qualcomm needs access to the industry’s most advanced technologies along with the ability to rapidly bring them to market,” boasted Glofo CEO Doug Grose.

The collaboration will get underway at Fab 1 in Dresden in 2010, and if successful, it’s likely the two firms will look into other areas of potential partnership, including on things like die-package and 3D packaging technologies.