GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 8 Construction Tour

GLOBALFOUNDRIES was kind enough to let HardOCP into its new Fab 8 facility in Malta, New York. While far from finished, this 28/20nm plant will be ramping to full production in 2012. Check out the video to understand the sheer scale of the largest construction project currently underway in the United States.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES was spun off by AMD a few years ago. GLOBALFOUNDRIES as a company has a whole lot more customers than just AMD though. Its client list reads like a Who' Who of the silicon universe. It largest fabs are currently in Dresden, Germany (which I am sure most HardOCP readers are familiar with), and in Singapore (which is a lesser known lower profile facility still doing 200mm wafer CMOS and such). The other 5 fabs that GLOBALFOUNDRIES owns and operates are MEMS fabs, and these facilities are doing very well for the company currently. GLOBALFOUNDRIES newest fab is Fab 8, and currently under construction in Malta, New York, right here in the good old USA.

HardOCP was lucky enough to a get a tour of the facility two weeks ago. It certainly made a big impression on us. Hopefully here we can communicate the sheer enormous size of the total structure, not to mention the Clean Room size alone. And once you take all of this in, keep in mind that you are only looking at "module 1" of an expected build out to 3 total modules in the future. This is currently the largest construction project in the USA and the only "green field" site in the country.


As you will see in our film, Fab 8 module 1 consists of a primary build with an expansion already in the works. This build will give Fab 8 module 1 a Clean Room area of approximately 300,000 square feet. That equates to roughly six American football fields in area. 28nm fabrication tools are already on the way to the build site ahead of schedule, with installation now scheduled for July '11, weather permitting.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES is anticipating getting its 28nm tools qualification program moving forward this year with manufacturing starting in 2012 with a ramp to full production capabilities of module 1 by the end of 2014. At that point GLOBALFOUNDRIES tells us that it should be able to produce 60,000 wafers worth of semiconductors at that time per month with a site that’s built to accommodate two more fabs should they need further expansion in the future.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES is working in tight partnership with IBM and moving forward with 20nm plans and beyond. 100 GLOBALFOUNDRIES employees are interacting with IBM and Albany Nanotech currently moving towards 14nm.

EUVL (extreme-ultraviolet lithography) fabrication machines should make way to Fab 8 in the second half of 2012 allowing GLOBALFOUDRIES the ability to move forward to burn chips beyond 20nm. It will likely take 1 to 2 years to qualify those tools which should put GLOBALFOUNDRIES first to market with that technology.

HardOCP Fab 8 Tour

What you will see in our film is an hour long tour of the Fab 8 module 1facility condensed into about 8 minutes. You will get to see is a lot of the building's infrastructure that will be walled up soon. Just seeing a glimpse of what is going into the engineering and building of such a behemoth is something to behold first hand. I hope we help convey some of that feeling to our readers. If you have never seen large scale construction first hand, it is worth a look in getting some understanding of what a project of this magnitude takes to complete successfully. Sadly, we cannot show you the construction of the Clean Room itself due to the proprietary nature of the build out.

We will have another follow up to this article and video that will show you GLOBALFOUNDRIES Integrated Test and Development Center, also in Malta, New York. If you ever wondered how all those 300mm wafers make it from machine to machine, we are going to show you how. And it is not done by men in bunny suits anymore.

A full 1080HD version is available at YouTube.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 8 Overview Slides

Below is a slide presentation that was given to HardOCP that outlines so of the more important facts about the building of Fab 8 and how and when it will ramp with building, production, and employment. Also included in the slides are drawings of what the full Fab 8 campus will look like when fully built out with modules 2 and 3.

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