GlobalFoundries, the world’s second largest contract maker of semiconductors, has leading edge process technologies and advanced fabs. However, in the recent years the company had to significantly alter its plans, which affected its performance and relations with customers. Fortunately, according to AMD, a key client of GF, the problems seem to be over and execution at GlobalFoundries is improving.
Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday confirmed that GlobalFoundries has successfully expanded the lineup of chips it produces for AMD. If previously GlobalFoundries only made central processing units and accelerated processing units using leading-edge fabrication processes, then right now the mix also includes graphics processing units as well as semi-custom AMD-designed system-on-chips for the latest video game consoles, such as Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One as well as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4.
“I think the execution of GlobalFoundries has improved significantly and that helps us from an overall standpoint,” said Devinder Kumar, chief financial officer of Advanced Micro Devices, during his presentation at the Credit Suisse 18th Annual Technology Conference. “In 2014 for the first time in the history of the relationship we went beyond PC product and actually we are making graphics, PC, and semi-custom products at GlobalFoundries in 2014 and that will continue into 2015.”
The CFO of AMD did not reveal exact chips that GlobalFoundries manufactures for the company, but given the fact that CPUs, APUs and GPUs are usually made using different process technologies, it is obvious that the relationship between the companies is pretty diverse.
“When you diversify the product that you make at a foundry like GlobalFoundries, it benefits them from a mix standpoint and benefits us from a mix standpoint,” added Mr. Kumar.
AMD and GlobalFoundries signed wafer supply agreement in April, 2014. While under the terms of the contract GlobalFoundries agreed to make various chips for AMD, the two companies have never confirmed that shipments of those chips had begun. In the past GlobalFoundries delayed launched of numerous products.
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KitGuru Says: While we pretty much know what kind of process technologies GlobalFoundries uses for AMD’s APUs and CPUs, it is completely unclear which manufacturing processes are used for AMD’s GPUs and the chips for game consoles.