Wafer Fab Management for Leadership: Dan Hutcheson Talks with Tom Caulfield

During an era when semiconductor manufacturing was shifting to Asia, GF chose to fight the tide and invest in America, building a fab in upstate New York. New York State was keen to participate, as they had already invested in the region with a vision of creating a new technology ecosystem as an engine for job creation. These investments have been critical to GF’s success.

Dan Hutcheson, a leading semiconductor industry analyst and CEO of VLSI Research, recently visited Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York and spent a day touring the facility and engaging with various fab teams.  The day concluded with a conversation between Dan and Tom Caulfield, senior vice president and general manager of Fab 8.

In this interview, Dan examines the accomplishments of GF’s Fab 8—where first-time-right on 14nm semiconductor design tapeouts has become a rule of thumb—and the importance of human capital, the impact of teamwork, and how to inspire it are essential components for success. They also uncover what semiconductor fab management is all about, including the difficulties of bringing up a greenfield fab, how the IBM Microelectronics acquisition fits in, and the role that Sanjay Jha, GF’s CEO, has played in the turnaround.

In short, Dan sums it up best: “Fab 8 is not just another fab. It is an American manufacturing success story.”