Semiconductor Equipment

GF and Qualcomm expand chip manufacturing deal

09 August 2022

Pure play foundry GlobalFoundries (GF) and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. will double their existing strategic long-term semiconductor manufacturing agreement.

The deal will secure wafer supply and commitments to Qualcomm through capacity expansion at GF’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in Malta, New York. With the CHIPS and Science Act (formerly known as the CHIPS Act for America) likely to be signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden this week, the deal also continues a move toward securing capacity for U.S.-based manufacturers.

Qualcomm makes chips and chipsets that are used in a variety of smart devices including mobile handsets, where its Snapdragon processor is ubiquitous in the market.

The extension, which lasts through 2028, extends GF's colaboration wth Qualcomm Global Trading Pte. Ltd. (QGT), a subsidiary of Qualcomm, in FinFET for 5G transceivers, Wi-Fi, automotive and internet of things (IoT) connectivity.

In 2021, QGT secured a supply with GF with a long-term agreement covering multiple geographies and technologies. This agreement secured 22FDX capacity at GF’s Dresden facility and will include capacity at GF’s recently introduced fab in Crolles, France, that it is building with ST Microelectronics.

QGT has also secured capacity in 8SW radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (RFSOI) technologies for sub-6 GHz 5G front-end module, which will be manufactured at GF’s Singapore facility.

Long-term deals

This agreement continues GF's goal of securing long-term capacity relationships with companies. Last year, the company signed automotive OEMs Ford and BMW to agreements to build automotive chips. The move was seen as a critical step after the automotive market was hit hard by the semiconductor supply chain shortage causing many companies to stymie production or cut back on production on many popular vehicles.

"Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies delivers differentiation and innovation in mobile and IoT spanning three continents, and this long-term agreement extension provides Qualcomm Technologies with additional U.S. based manufacturing for a more resilient supply chain,” said Thomas Caulfield, president and CEO of GF.

GF sees semiconductors growing at an unprecedented rate and long-term agreements along with simultaneously expanding global capacity will be an important step toward developing this collaborative model.

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