Qualcomm signs with Global Foundries

CES 2010 40nm, 28nm, 4G and netbooks, oh my

Global Foundries LogoGLOBAL FOUNDRIES JUST announced a major win by signing Qualcomm to a fab contract. If anyone was waiting to see if Global Foundries had what it took to compete for the best, they now have their answer.

GloFo and Qualcomm have tied up on parts for CDMA2000, WCDMA and 4G/LTE on the phone side, and somewhat unspecified smartbook chips, likely Snapdragon. The collaboration starts on the 40nm node and extends to 28nm for the time being. GloFo will be starting the process by accepting designs from Qualcomm this year.

In addition to fabbing the chips, the two will be tying up on advanced packaging technologies, 3D packaging, and die and substrate interaction research. If you don’t think this is important, just ask Nvidia why it is paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to OEMs for ‘no reason’.

In any case, this looks like the big one for Global Foundries. STMicro was a good customer, but Qualcomm is one of the big boys. If it has the confidence to go with GloFo, the fab can likely handle anyone that knocks on its door. Add in the cutting edge technologies that Qualcomm needs, and this means both sides will be pushing the other to do the (nearly) impossible.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate