Looking Back at 2022: Innovation, Differentiation, and Partnership at GF

As 2022 draws to a close, GlobalFoundries® (GF®) concludes its first full year as a publicly traded company. Foundry Files takes a look back at key GF news, announcements and themes from 2022. 

Recognition for ESG and Corporate Responsibility 

Throughout 2022 GF received several awards and ratings for our environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) efforts, the latest recognitions of our commitment to corporate responsibility.  

We were honored to receive an Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for conservation efforts at our facility in Essex Junction, Vermont. In addition, both our Vermont site and our Malta, New York, site received Most Valuable Pollution Prevention awards from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. 

GF was also named to Newsweek’s “America’s Most Responsible Companies 2023” list, received a “Low Risk” ESG rating from Morningstar Sustainalytics, and recognized for “Prime” corporate ESG performance by rating agency ISS with a rank in the top 10% of companies in the semiconductor industry. As John Toy, chief of ethics and sustainability at GF, said: 

“We recognize there is still much work to be done. Just as the chips we manufacture are vital to the innovations that are leading to a cleaner, healthier future, we are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment, driving positive change, and creating value through corporate responsibility.” 

Closer Partnership with the U.S. Government 

GF is proud to be a longstanding partner and supplier to the U.S. government, and over the year we saw this relationship continue to deepen. 

In October 2022, GF and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy announced the award of $30 million in federal funding to advance the development and production of next-generation gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon semiconductors at our manufacturing facility in Essex Junction, Vermont. 

The new award moves GF and its Vermont site closer to the large-scale production of GaN chips, which have a unique ability to handle significant heat and power levels. Thanks to this ability, GaN chips are positioned to enable game-changing performance and efficiency for smartphones, electric vehicles, power grids, and many other applications.  

At the event to announce the funding, Sen. Leahy said: “This funding is an investment in U.S. leadership in improved technology for chips that connect everything around us and power our handheld devices—with GlobalFoundries and Vermonters leading the way.” 

Earlier in the year, GF and the U.S. Department of Defense announced a $117 million agreement for GF to provide a strategic supply of U.S.-made semiconductors critical to national security systems. These chips, to be securely manufactured at GF’s facility in Malta, New York, will be used in some of the nation’s most sensitive defense and aerospace applications. Click here to read more

U.S. CHIPS and Science Act 

Semiconductors made headline news throughout 2022, and a major focal point was the development, progress, and passing of the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act. GF was a vocal supporter of the legislation

On Tuesday, August 9, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the $52+ billion CHIPS and Science of 2022 into law. GF CEO Dr. Thomas Caulfield attended the signing ceremony on behalf of GF. The law will have a profound impact on the U.S. semiconductor industry for years to come. 

In his remarks, President Biden cited GF’s new agreement with Qualcomm to supply an additional $4.2 billion in U.S-made chips, to be manufactured at our facility in Malta, New York. 

The announcement was made a day earlier, coinciding with a CEO summit in Washington co-hosted by GF, Ford, and Applied Materials. The summit brought together CEOs and leaders from across the semiconductor supply chain to discuss U.S. technology leadership, competitiveness, supply chains, national security, and more. Click here to read a Reuters report on the summit. 

Closing out the historic week for U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, GF was proud to join New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Lead Chuck Schumer, Congressman Paul Tonko and others in Albany for the signing of New York’s Green CHIPS legislation. 

Leadership and Partnership in Europe 

In July 2022, GF and STMicroelectronics announced a partnership to create a new, jointly-operated 300mm semiconductor manufacturing facility in Crolles, France, to support the demand for chips from customers in Europe and across the globe. 

GF CEO Dr. Thomas Caulfield and ST CEO Jean-Marc Chery announced the partnership together in Crolles, alongside President of France Emmanuel Macron and other officials. ST and GF will receive significant financial support from the State of France for the new facility, which will be built as an expansion of ST’s existing facility in Crolles and leverage the site’s infrastructure. 

Through the agreement, GF and STMicroelectronics are committed to building manufacturing capacity for chips used in the automotive and industrial markets, as well as Internet of Things and communication infrastructure applications.  

With a focus on our differentiated 22FDX platform, which has shipped more than one billion chips, the new facility in Crolles will expand GF’s presence within Europe’s dynamic technology ecosystem while reinforcing our position as the leading semiconductor foundry in Europe. 

Read the article “Chip Giants to Build Factory in France as Global Supply Race Rolls On” from The Wall Street Journal, as well as news coverage from Financial Times, Agency France-Press, Reuters, and EETimes

First Tool-In at Singapore Expansion 

Moving the first manufacturing tool into a new facility is always an exciting moment for a chipmaker. In June 2022, GF we celebrated the arrival of the first tool at the newest facility on our Singapore campus. 

The milestone was reached only one year after breaking ground on the first phase of our Singapore expansion, and was achieved in partnership Singapore Economic Development Board and co-investments from committed customers. 

In a ceremony at the newly constructed building, GF leaders were joined by Singapore officials, and executives from Lam Research, Exyte, and many other key partners and suppliers. Together they watched as the first tool — a market-leading etch tool made by Lam Research — was moved into GF’s newly commissioned cleanroom. 

The milestone brought GF closer to expanded manufacturing capacity at our Singapore site, and fulfilling global demand in the marketplace for GF-made chips used in automobiles, smartphones, wireless connectivity, internet of things (IoT) devices, and other applications. 

Click here to watch GF CEO Dr. Thomas Caulfield discuss the first tool-in with CNBC, and click here to watch a video of the GF’s Singapore Expansion First Tool-In Event. Read news coverage from The Straits Times here

Building a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion 

GF knows the best ideas come from a diverse team being inclusive, and that our success rests on empowering employees to bring their whole person — with all of their unique talents and distinctive qualities — to our company. 

Throughout 2022, we further leaned into our strategic partnerships with AfroTech, FairyGodboss, Society of Hispanic Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, iRelaunch, and other organizations to create new opportunities and expand outreach in our industry and beyond.  

For example, read this blog article to learn more about the ways GF’s Global Journey Re-Entry Program has provided individuals with an extra layer of support when rejoining the workforce after a voluntary break, such as raising a family, serving in the military, caring for a loved one, pursuing education, or other reasons. 

For further reading on diversity, equity, and inclusion at GF in 2022, check out: 

Connecting the World with GF Connex 

GF continues to lead the way in radio frequency (RF) innovations, and in May 2022 we announced GF Connextm — our feature-rich RF portfolio designed for next-gen wireless connectivity. We’re collaborating with industry leaders like Broadcom, Fujikura, MediaTek, Orca Systems, Skyworks and others to address varied RF needs across a range of applications. 

GF Connex products are pervasive in daily life. From smartphones that stay connected longer on a single charge, to cellular and satellite communications that deliver more reliable connections. From innovative and power-efficient Internet of Things devices, to more responsive, extended range, high resolution imagery for more powerful and sensitive automotive radars. 

Our GF Connex portfolio exemplifies our feature-rich approach: we work in lockstep with our customers to develop innovative process features that enhance and elevate capabilities for RF communications, efficient conversion and delivery of power, and precision analog for sensing. GF’s laser focus on select end markets means these solutions are differentiated and purpose-built for automotive, smart mobile, IoT, communications infrastructure, and data centers. 

To read more, check out “GlobalFoundries Advances RF Leadership with GF Connex Portfolio and Customer Collaborations” as well as the blog post “Expanding the Possibilities” by GF Chief Business Officer Mike Hogan. 

GF Labs Engaging with Academia 

Semiconductor innovation is essential to the growth and development of technology megatrends that are reshaping the global economy — from the Internet of Things to 5G and 6G wireless, from artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing to next-generation vehicles, and beyond. 

In May 2022 we announced our GF Labs program to expand and accelerate the momentum of this innovation. GF Labs leads our company’s research and development efforts and provides the framework for advancing GF’s differentiated technology portfolio in partnership with leading academic, government, and industry collaborators. 

In addition to joining the American Semiconductor Innovation Coalition this summer, GF and Purdue University announced in November 2022 a new strategic partnership to strengthen and expand collaboration on semiconductor research and education, with a focus on joint R&D. 

Through GF’s University Partnership Program, a part of GF Labs, research teams at more than 50 leading universities have unique access to GF and our technologies. Don’t miss “A Look into the Future of Automotive Radar” and “GF Aims for Energy-Efficient Artificial Intelligence” to hear how GF is collaborating with these world-leading academic researchers to advance critical technologies. 

The Future is Bright for GF Fotonix 

Reports show that more than 42 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things are generating around 177 zettabytes of data every year. Energy is consumed as this data moves from devices to data centers and back again. 

In March 2022, GF proudly announced GF Fotonixtm, the next-generation, first-of-its-kind silicon photonics platform that addresses the clear need for innovative solutions to handle the ever-growing volumes of data in a way that is highly reliable, faster, and more energy efficient.  

GF has active design wins with major customers, and a significant share of today’s optical networking modules market. Click here and scroll down a bit to see what our customers and partners are saying about GF Fotonix and our leadership in silicon photonics. 

GF Fotonix monolithically integrates high-performance radio-frequency (RF), digital, and silicon photonics circuits on the same chip, while leveraging the scale, efficiencies and tight process controls of 300 millimeter semiconductor manufacturing at our facility in Malta, New York. 

Read more about the innovative GF Fotonix platform at: 

Resource Conservation and Sustainable Manufacturing 

We recognize climate change is an unprecedented global challenge, and we continue along our Journey to Zero Carbon. As part of GF’s longstanding commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing and operations, we are constantly looking for new ways to minimize our impact on the environment. 

This spring, GF announced the results of our three-year (2019-2021) resource conservation goals. Using a wide variety of innovative strategies, our team successfully met or exceeded goals for realizing annual savings in electricity use, water use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, as well as chemical use and waste generation. 

These annual savings include: 

  • GHG emissions roughly equivalent those from 5,000 U.S. homes in an average year 
  • Electricity roughly equivalent to the amount used by 8,000 U.S. homes in an average year 
  • Enough water to fill 136 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  
  • Chemical use and waste generation roughly equivalent to the weight of a herd of 1,600 elephants 

Read more on the GF blog: GF Surpasses Key Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Water Conservation Goals; GF Achieves Savings in Electricity, Chemical Use, and Waste Generation