Expansion, Innovation, and Growth at GF: Top 10 Stories from 2021

GlobalFoundries® (GF®) has never had a year quite like 2021. From major manufacturing expansion announcements, to collaborating with world-leading partners to redefine innovation for automobiles and smartphones, to making our stock market debut, this was a year to remember.

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2021, we have collected the top GF stories of the year.

Setting a Higher Bar for Sustainability

Tom Caulfield

Building upon our longstanding commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing and operations, this year GF announced the Journey to Zero Carbon initiative. The goal of Journey to Zero Carbon is to reduce GF's total greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030, as the company expands its global manufacturing capacity. As our CEO Tom Caulfield said:

" ... Journey to Zero Carbon is the natural next step for us to take. It’s the right thing do to – for our business, for our global team, and for our planet.”

Along with doubling down on sustainability in our own operations, the semiconductor solutions we manufacture are enabling our partners and customers to achieve their own sustainability and efficiency goals. Our blog post, GF Technologies Enable a More Sustainable, More Efficient World, brings this story to life.

 

Diversity & Inclusion

Leaning into Diversity and Inclusion

GF has one of the most diverse workforces of any semiconductor manufacturer, and we know this is a competitive advantage for our company. One of the ways we foster a culture of diversity and inclusion is by creating an environment of trust, and providing a structure that honors what makes us different so we can most effectively collaborate on our shared goals.

Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, are a critical part of the structure we have in place to empower our team and celebrate the diversity of our workforce. These voluntary, employee-led groups create a space for individuals of a similar interest, culture, or experience to support and connect professionally and personally.

This year GF employees launched three new ERGS: Asian Society for Inclusion and Awareness; Pride at GF; and Unidos. Together with Black Resource Affinity Group (BRAG), GlobalWomen, GlobalFamilies, and other groups, these ERGs connect the GF community, strengthen our team, and help position our company for continued success.

BRAG@GF

If you missed our blog post on GF’s ERGs, click here to hear from ERG members about their experiences. Be sure to also check out our blog posts on GF's celebrations of Women's History Month and Black History Month.

 

Inaugural GF Technology Summit

GTSCoinciding with GF's new corporate brand (spoiler alert for no. 5 on this list!) was a new name for our longstanding GTC industry event. The 2021 GF Technology Summit encompassed four global events, and our 750+ attendees from countries around the world joined presentations, keynotes, and panel discussions featuring our incredible partners and customers, GF leaders, and other guests. Click here to view the replays of many of these sessions.

At the event, we announced a portfolio of new features that extend our solutions roadmap and accelerate the next wave of innovation in chip design for smart mobile devices, datacenter, IoT and automotive.

Check out the buzz from the event on Twitter, and don't miss the series of blog posts that dive deeper into our announcements:

 

Redefining Semiconductor Innovation

ChipsGF believes that semiconductor manufacturing innovation is about making chips smarter, not just smaller. We work closely with our customers and partners to develop and manufacture the feature-rich chips that are pervasive throughout people's lives, and which provide performance vital to many growing markets.

In the words of our CEO Tom Caulfield, we "make the chips in many of your favorite electronics more connected and secure, more intelligent and intuitive, more powerful and power efficient."

This innovation was on full display in 2021, as we made announcements about how GF chips are helping our customers push the envelope of technology:

For a peak into how innovation happens at GF, don’t miss our blog posts featuring a Q&A with GF Master Inventors Yan Ping Shen and Shesh Mani Pandey, as well as blog posts about the research and develop happening in partnership with world-leading academics as part of GF’s University Partnership Program:

 

Putting the "Smart" in Smartphones

Bami BastaniNearly every wireless call, text, email, photo or video, either taken or watched on smartphones in the last few years, was made possible through chips manufactured around the globe at GF. This is no accident: for years, we have been helping smartphone manufacturers overcome the toughest challenges necessary to meet the growing expectations of consumers.

This year was no exception. In September we announced an agreement with Qualcomm to deliver advanced 5G RF front-end products. As GF’s Dr. Bami Bastani put it: “Our strong collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies includes sub-6 GHz to unlock everyday access to 5G, and cutting-edge mmWave technology to take 5G to the next level” by delivering unmatched data speeds while continuing to provide the longest possible battery life for smartphones and many other 5G-connected devices. Read top tech analyst Pat Moorhead’s recap of the announcement here.

And at the 2021 GF Technology Summit, we announced the addition of exciting new features for our RF SOI solutions, which enable our customers to provide stronger and more reliable 5G connections.

 

GF Unveils New Brand

GF Logo

In July, GF introduced its new brand to the world. The new brand is the culmination of GF’s decade-plus journey, and embodies GF’s role as one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers.

Retaining GF’s signature orange color and augmenting it with a bold new logo and visual imagery, the new brand identity is reflective of GF’s vital role in the global economy and our commitment to redefining innovation and semiconductor manufacturing.

Be sure to check our blog post A New GF Brand for a New Era of More, and the Wall Street Journal article, Chip Maker GlobalFoundries Revamps Brand Amid Global Chip Shortage, for the story and development of the new GF brand.

 

Navigating the Chip Shortage

Semiconductor supply chain constraints, often referred to as the “chip shortage,” made headlines across the world throughout 2021. GF CEO Tom Caulfield played an outsized role in this global discussion.

Tom on TVIn his frequent interviews on CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, and other news outlets, he helped create awareness and foster understanding of the chip shortage, the intense spotlight it put on our industry, and on just how critical semiconductors are to the $91T world economy.

Tom also shared the many ways in which GF was taking action (see no. 3 below) to meet the moment and grow our global capacity to manufacture more of the feature-rich chips that have become the drivers of technological and economic growth.

Throughout the year, Tom participated in a trio of White House summits, speaking with U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and other Administration officials, and urging them to take bold action and help pave the way toward U.S federal investment in chip manufacturing to create jobs, shore up the supply chain, and increase the capacity of U.S.-made semiconductors.

 

Expanding our Global Manufacturing Footprint

GF LobbyIn 2021, amidst unprecedented global demand for feature-rich semiconductors, GF announced it was expanding manufacturing capacity at its sites globally.

GF broke ground in June on the construction of a new fab at our Singapore campus. In partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board and with co-investments from committed customers, GF announced an investment of more than $4 billion to add capacity for 450,000 wafers per year, bringing GF’s Singapore campus up to approximately 1.5 million wafers per year.

In July we hosted the first GF Executive Summit at Fab 8 in Malta, New York, which convened leaders from government and industry to advance the national discussion around solving U.S. semiconductor supply chain challenges. CEO Tom Caulfield was joined by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer​, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, former Pentagon officials, and executives from leading companies throughout the semiconductor supply chain.

At the summit, GF announced $1 billion in immediate investments to address the global chip shortage and add capacity to manufacture an additional 150,000 wafers per year at Fab 8. Sharing the stage with Sen. Schumer and Sec. Raimondo, CEO Tom Caulfield also announced plans were underway for GF to construct of a new fab on the Malta, N.Y., campus that will double the site’s capacity, using the same bold public-private partnership in close collaboration customers that fueled the expansion in Singapore.

GF also announced a $1 billion planned investment in Germany to grow the capacity of our Dresden facility, where in July our CEO hosted German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier.

There is so much excitement at GF around these expansions. As Tom put it: “Our industry is expected to grow more in the next decade than it did in the past 50 years and GF is stepping up to do its part as we work together to address the growing demand for technology innovation for the betterment of humanity.”

 

Driving Innovation in Automotive

GF is becoming the semiconductor foundry of choice for the world’s top vehicle-makers and their suppliers, in part because of the innovation we are bringing to the emerging auto trends of autonomous driving, connectivity, and electrification. Read more about this in our blog post: For Auto Industry, Innovation is GlobalFoundries’ Ace in the Hole.

As shown in no. 3 above, GF is pioneering a new economic model for our industry, based on long-term partnerships that help to ensure predictability, repeatability, and sustainability for both GF and our customers. Amidst the global chip shortage, these partnerships and alignment has never been more vital.

Mike HoganThroughout 2021, partnerships with automotive manufacturers and suppliers were prominent:

  • GF and Ford announced a strategic collaboration to address advanced semiconductor manufacturing and technology development within the United States, aiming to boost chip supplies for Ford and the U.S. automotive industry
  • BMW announced an agreement with GF to both build a more secure and resilient supply-chain partnership, and to accelerate technology development supporting the next generation of automotive innovation.
  • The automotive supply chain was also a focus of Volkswagen leader Murat Akselat’s featured talk at the 2021 GF Technology Summit.
  • GF and Bosch would partner to develop and manufacture next-generation automotive radar technology for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) applications, manufactured using GF’s 22FDX™ RF solution.

There is an open road of opportunity for further semiconductor innovation in automotive. As SVP Mike Hogan said, GF is laser-focused on creating new technologies for the car of tomorrow and “committed to building stronger relationships with the automotive industry to deliver innovation and address the growing demand for feature-rich chips.”

 

IPO Day

GF Launches IPO

An extraordinary milestone in GF's history took place on October 28, when shares of GFS started trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange. In fact, GF was one of Nasdaq’s largest IPOs of the year and the largest semiconductor IPO ever.

Being a public company positions GF to further innovate and partner with customers to deliver semiconductors for humanity.

From ringing the opening bell at Nasdaq, to celebrations at our Fabs and sites around the world, to GF team members having their photos displayed in Times Square, to our CEO Tom Caulfield appearing on CNN and many other news outlets to discuss GF and our IPO, to incredible engagement from our employees, investors, customers, and partners - it was day none of us are likely to forget.

IPO Day

 

Thank you for reading our list Top 10 Stories from 2021! Wishing you happy holidays, a fantastic new year, and we'll see you back on the Foundry Files in 2022!