John Docherty is departing his position as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Manufacturing Operations at AMD to join GlobalFoundries (GloFo) as SVP of Global Operations.
Docherty would appear to be a bit of a loss for AMD. He has more than 35 years of semiconductor manufacturing experience and while he was at AMD he had hands-on experience with APU, CPU and GPU manufacturing. His CV includes senior positions at Motorola Semiconductor, LSI Agere Systems and ATI.
However his switch to GlobalFoundries might turn out to be good for both AMD and GlobalFoundries, as a former SVP at AMD he knows exactly what GlobalFoundries’ most prominent customer needs.
Docherty could assist with 14nm FinFET production to ensure it arrives at market sooner. AMD will be relying on 14nm silicon from GlobalFoundries in order to counter Nvidia’s upcoming GPU architecture, codenamed ‘Pascal’, based on TSMC’s 16nm process, which is said to be launching in 2016.
In fact, the whole move could be seen as a vertical integration attempt by AMD who founded GlobalFoundries back in 2009 as a separate company. GlobalFoundries announced a partnership with Samsung back in April to collaborate over the 14nm process.
Docherty would also be interested in taking advantage of the poor relations between Samsung and AMD’s archrival Nvidia, particularly if GloFlo and Samsung have any success with 14nm FinFET.
As we reported yesterday, IBM has sold off its semiconductor business giving Global Foundries (GloFo) a considerable leg up in the foundry business.
IBM spelled out the details saying that GloFo will get its intellectual property, technology and technologists formerly part of Big Blue’s IBM Microelectronics business.
GloFo also gets some business from the deal because it will act as its exclusive server processor provider for 22 nanometre, 14 nanometre and 10 nanometre processes in a 10 year deal.
IBM was eager to say that despite it disposing of its Microelectronics division, it will still work on semiconductor research. And as part of this commitment, IBM will continue to invest $3 billion over the next five years in semiconductor technology research.
GloFo will get primary access to the research through the investment, will get thousands of patents and other benefits including technology related to advanced geometries at 10 nanometres and below.
Dr Sanjay Jha, CEO of GloFo, this gives his company leadership in the semiconductor business. “This acquisition further strengthens advanced manufacturing in the US and builts on established relationships in New York and Vermont,” he said.
IBM will take a charge of $4.7 billion in its third quarter financial results because of the acquisition. Most former employees of IBM Microelectronics will keep their jobs.
The global semi foundry market raked in $34.6 billion in 2012, an increase of 16.2 percent from 2011, according to Gartner.
The analyst house said that 2012 was also the year that semiconductor revenue for mobile devices surpassed that of PCs and notebooks, as well as marking the first year that advanced technology for mobile applications drove the foundry revenue.
And 2012 continued to please the industry with major foundries improving the yield of 28 nanometer (nm) technology, but also many foundries fine-tuned the device performance of legacy nodes.
TSMC continued its reign as the number one semiconductor company as a result of its success in the advanced technology nodes sector. Strong performance on 32 nm yields and the availability of sub-45-nm wafer capacity at the Dresden, Germany, fabs allowed Globalfoundries to advance to second place, while UMC’s market share decreased due to reduced wafer shipments.
Driven by the wafers consumed by Apple’s A6 and A6X chips, Samsung moved up four spots to tfifth position with 175.5 percent growth in 2012.
The increase in the foundry business was attributed to the restocking of inventory by customers, along with the increased demand of smartphones, in which wafers for advanced technology are required.
Gartner also pointed out that in the second half of 2012, foundries performed better than the seasonal norm due to the need of 40 nm wafers as a result of the unexpected fast rise of low-cost smartphones in China and other emerging countries.
It said those foundries with sufficient wafer capacity and a good yield of 40 nm and 28 nm technologies have achieved solid revenue growth.