Through the Lens of Chris Payne: A Photographic Journey at GlobalFoundries

Payne’s perspective on showcasing beauty, complexity and the future in semiconductor manufacturing 

Chris Payne

In late 2022 GlobalFoundries (GF) invited Chris Payne, an acclaimed photographer with a specialization in architectural and industrial photography, to our Malta, New York, facility for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of semiconductor manufacturing. Over the course of six days, he captured dozens of images, showcasing the intricate processes of GF’s cleanroom, sub-fab and other key areas. Several of these striking images are featured in Payne’s recent book, ‘Made in America’ and are now proudly displayed in the ‘Semiconductors Unveiled’ gallery at our headquarters. We recently caught up with Chris to ask him about his creative journey at GF and how his photography bridges art with the cutting-edge world of semiconductor technology. 

Q: Thanks so much for connecting, Chris. Your latest book ‘Made in America’ includes a section on semiconductor manufacturing. What inspired this focus? 

A: In my book I wanted to tell a comprehensive story about manufacturing, drawing a narrative arc from older, more traditional processes to newer, more technologically advanced ones, like the making of semiconductor chips. Being able to photograph GlobalFoundries was like having the final chapter written and made it easier to assemble the rest of the book. 

Q: How did your perception of the company evolve throughout your photographic journey? 

A: Walking into the giant cleanroom for the first time was overwhelming and I realized that I would need help from GF to plan and make the pictures. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner; the shoots felt like a creative collaboration where we all shared a common goal. This level of cooperation and generosity is rare in an age when tech companies are wary of opening their doors to photographers. 

Q: Before visiting GF, what were your main objectives or hopes for the photography project? How did these goals shape your approach? 

A: My main objective was to make a series of compelling pictures that strike a balance between beauty and information, that pull back the curtain on the chipmaking process while also being aesthetically pleasing. I tried to avoid the generic views we’ve seen before of cleanrooms with workers in white bunny suits. For my pictures I knew I needed to dig deeper, so we spent many hours exploring the fab to come up with new and interesting ideas. 

Q: Can you describe the process and any unexpected hurdles you encountered photographing in GF’s semiconductor fab? 

A: As a photographer, I’m accustomed to an immersive, hands-on approach, but this wasn’t possible at GF since I was suited from head to toe in protective gear. Every piece of my equipment had to be wiped down before entering the fab, and we had to budget extra time to get around such a vast and labyrinthine site. That said, I enjoyed the luxury of widespread access and had all the help I needed from the GF team, so things couldn’t have gone smoother. 

Q: Was there anything about GF or semiconductor manufacturing that surprised or intrigued you during your visit? 

A: What I found most intriguing was the contrast in scale between the miniscule size of the chips and the immense size of the factory. I can’t think of another product or process where this relationship is so disproportionate. I’ve seen cleanrooms before, but I had no idea how much infrastructure is required to make it all work. 

Q: Of all the images you captured at GF, which one do you find the most aesthetically striking, and which is your personal favorite?  

A: If I had to choose one picture, it would be the view looking up at the FOUPs (Front Opening Unified Pods) running along the AMHS (Automated Material Handling System). I remember when I first saw the FOUPs zipping overhead I felt as if I had walked into the future. For this picture we were able to choreograph the FOUPs by slowing them down and rerouting them to create a bustling intersection. 

Another personal favorite is the image of [GF senior engineer] Lydia inspecting the wafer sorter. Here I was able to place my camera inside the sorter and have Lydia peer inside to create a dramatic, intimate scene. Even though the fab is mostly automated, humans must keep a watchful eye to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  

Q: Semiconductor manufacturing is rarely seen as a subject of fine art. How did you approach revealing the beauty in this technical and industrial process? 

A: It’s impossible to photograph semiconductor chips being made, since the process is inaccessible and hidden from view, but I knew there had to be a way to convey its complexity. I recall my disappointment when we toured the sub fab because it seemed generic, like any other mechanical space. Then I looked up and saw a maze of pipes and tubes feeding the cleanroom, revealing the fab as one giant interconnected machine. It was the perfect balance of order and chaos, yet still ambiguous enough to inspire imagination and awe, and shows that beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places.   

Q: How do you think your work, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing, influences public perception or understanding of this industry? 

A: I’d like to think that I’m doing important work, documenting one of the most essential technologies of our time. If my pictures make people pause to appreciate what it takes to sustain our modern, digital way of life, then that’s a bonus. But even if no one notices or cares, I’m still grateful for having seen this incredible place, and look forward to future collaborations with GlobalFoundries! 

Achieving Excellence in Workplace Equality and Setting a New Standard in Inclusivity

GF earns top score in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023-24 Corporate Equality Index 

By Emma Cheer  
Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at GlobalFoundries 

GlobalFoundries (GF) is proud to announce we have earned a top score in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). This is a big deal – it’s the leading survey and report measuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employee (LGBTQ+) workplace equality, and our score reflects GF’s dedication to an inclusive culture where everyone, regardless of their identity, feels valued and respected. 

GF received a perfect score of 100 for the CEI. Much more than just an accolade for GF, this score represents our deep-rooted belief that a diverse and inclusive workforce improves business outcomes by fostering innovation, improving employee engagement and retention, attracting talent, and increasing productivity. 

GF celebrated this news at many of its U.S. locations. 

“Working for a company that shares my core values was a key differentiator when I chose to join GF,” said Jean Trewhella, GF’s director of post fab engineering and executive sponsor of the company’s Pride@GF employee resource group. “Gaining the HRC CEI 100 score is a visible and bold indicator that GF continues to grow along these core values of diversity, equity and inclusion, making GF a great place to work for employees and the obvious choice for new hires!” 

The 2023-2024 CEI included 1,384 participating organizations advocating for specific gender identity non-discrimination protections. Covering 21 million employees worldwide, these protections are crucial and we are honored to be part of this progressive change. 

In the words of RaShawn “Shawnie” Hawkins, HRC’s senior director of workplace equality: “Our goal at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is to work in a spirit of partnership with companies, providing educational resources and leading benchmarking, and collaborating on ways for businesses to support the LGBTQ+ community at a time when we face unprecedented legislative attacks, heightened anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and physical violence. The CEI is an ever-evolving tool – a blueprint that companies can use to show up more effectively in supporting their LGBTQ+ employees and their families.” 

Click here to learn more about diversity and inclusion at GF and click here for more information on the HRC CEI 2023-2024. 

About Pride@GF 

Pride@GF is a GF employee resource group that is dedicated to providing an inclusive environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, empowering employees to bring their full selves to work, and informing and guiding GF to create a culture of inclusion. 

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GlobalFoundries Joined by Vermont Government Officials to Celebrate Announcement of CHIPS and Science Act and State Funding to Modernize Essex Junction Facility

ESSEX JUNCTION, VT, March 1, 2024 – GlobalFoundries (Nasdaq: GFS) (GF) CEO Dr. Thomas Caulfield was joined today by Vermont Governor Phill Scott, Senator Peter Welch, U.S. Representative Becca Balint, former Senator Patrick Leahy and other GF and community leaders to celebrate the nearly $130 million in planned direct funding as part of the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act and Vermont state funding that will support the modernization of GF’s longest continuously operated fab and the nation’s first and largest Trusted 200mm facility in Essex Junction.

Last week, GF was proud to announce the U.S. Department of Commerce’s $1.5 billion in planned direct funding for GF, with $125 million of that funding earmarked for modernizing and building out the capacity of GF’s Vermont facility. Governor Scott and the State of Vermont have announced an additional $4.5 million in planned funding to support creating the first U.S. facility capable of high-volume manufacturing of next-generation gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors for use in electric vehicles, power grids, data centers, 5G and 6G smartphones and other critical technologies.

Modernization efforts will include the adoption of new industry-leading sustainability practices that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve wastewater treatment at the facility. These improvements are poised not only to meet but surpass state and federal regulatory requirements, making the fab one of the greenest of its kind.

“GF was proud to welcome Governor Scott, Senator Welch, former Senator Leahy and Congresswoman Balint to our Vermont site today,” said Dr. Caulfield. “Our facility in Vermont has been manufacturing and innovating in the semiconductor industry for the last six decades and these proposed investments to modernize our facility will enable GF to keep delivering cutting-edge solutions for our customers and partners, in an environmentally friendly way, well into the future. Today, on Employee Appreciation Day, we celebrate the achievements and the community spirit of our GF team in Vermont.”

“This investment is incredibly impactful, not just for the state and region, but for our national and economic security,” said Governor Scott. “It’s also a significant recognition of the ingenuity, hard work and dedication of generations of Vermont employees who have made GlobalFoundries and its predecessors in Essex Junction so successful and impactful. This investment would not have been possible without their excellence. I’m excited to see all that comes of it in the years to come.”  

To attract and cultivate a pipeline of semiconductor talent that will be needed in Vermont, GF is creating and investing in numerous initiatives including the company’s recently announced student loan repayment program to help current employees and new recruits pay down student loan debt. GF is also partnering with a broad range of universities and community colleges nationwide, such as the University of Vermont and Vermont State University, to help build a diverse workforce and semiconductor talent pipeline. As part of receiving CHIPS and Science Act funding, GF will continue to invest in and develop new workforce development efforts including curriculum development, internship and apprenticeship programs, K-12 STEM outreach as well as additional education and training programs.

All of GF’s design and construction plans for its modernization in Vermont will reflect GF’s ongoing commitment to sustainable operations and comply with the company’s sustainability goals.

Government officials and academia in Vermont celebrate the news:

“There is no doubt that there is a global shortage in microchips and semiconductors which is making it harder for manufacturers to produce the cars, cellphones, and electronic equipment that we need,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders. “This federal investment will bring valuable support to help this industry succeed in Vermont by supporting innovations in development, manufacturing, and production. It will also create good-paying jobs for hundreds of Vermonters, and bring in apprenticeship programs to teach the next generation. I applaud Senator Leahy, Governor Scott, my fellow Congressional Delegation members, GlobalFoundries, and the Biden-Harris administration for all their work to bring this funding to Vermont. I look forward to seeing all the good it will do for Vermont workers and our communities.”

“Vermont is powered by Gallium Nitride technologies, used in everything from our phones to power grids to electric vehicles. The $125 million federal award made possible by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act represents a generational investment in Vermont jobs and U.S.-made chips,” said Senator Welch. “GlobalFoundries and the Fab 9 team have made Vermont a leader in semiconductor innovation and development, and they’ve shown the nation and the world that the Vermont Way works. Their commitment to sustainability and use of carbon-free energy practices are leading the way for other manufacturers. The ripple effect of this exciting development has already begun to spark innovation within the greater community and will be an economic driver for years to come.”

“The historic CHIPS and Science Act unleashed the full potential of domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and Vermont will lead the nation in chips production,” said Rep. Becca Balint. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, this transformative investment will lead to the modernization of GlobalFoundries’ longest continuously operated fab, right here in Vermont. Our state will be home to the first U.S. facility capable of high-volume manufacturing of next-generation GaN semiconductors. Vermonters continue to lead our country’s innovation economy, and I am thrilled to celebrate this monumental investment from the Biden administration today.”

“The first and largest 200mm semiconductor manufacturing facility of its kind in the U.S., GF’s Vermont fab is a cornerstone of the state’s economy and a key partner for the University of Vermont’s work as a national research university. Through collaborative programs with UVM and other institutions in Vermont, it is a place where so many young people in our region find their future. CHIPS funding will help ensure the commercial viability of this site for years to come and enable GF and UVM to build upon our recent EDA Tech Hub designation to create internships, apprenticeships, workforce development programs, and advanced research initiatives in the Green Mountain State. We applaud this federal investment in GF and the entire Vermont community,” said Kirk Dombrowski, Vice President for Research and Economic Development at UVM.

GF’s facility in Essex Junction, Vermont, near Burlington, was among the first major semiconductor manufacturing sites in the United States. Today, around 1,800 GF employees work at the site. Built on GF’s differentiated technologies, these GF-made chips are used in smartphones, automobiles, and communications infrastructure applications around the world. The facility is a DMEA accredited Trusted Foundry and manufactures secure chips in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, for use in some of the nation’s most sensitive aerospace and defense systems.

Über GlobalFoundries

GlobalFoundries (GF) is one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers. GF is redefining innovation and semiconductor manufacturing by developing and delivering feature-rich process technology solutions that provide leadership performance in pervasive high growth markets. GF offers a unique mix of design, development, and fabrication services. With a talented and diverse workforce and an at-scale manufacturing footprint spanning the U.S., Europe and Asia, GF is a trusted technology source to its worldwide customers. For more information, visit www.gf.com. 

©GlobalFoundries Inc., GF, GlobalFoundries, the GF logos and other GF marks are trademarks of GlobalFoundries Inc. or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

Zukunftsorientierte Informationen

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to, statements regarding our financial outlook, future guidance, product development, business strategy and plans, and market trends, opportunities and positioning. These statements are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates, forecasts, projections and limited information available at the time they are made. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “believe,” “hope,” “target,” “project,” “goals,” “estimate,” “potential,” “predict,” “may,” “will,” “might,” “could,” “intend,” “shall,” “outlook,” “on track,” and variations of these terms or the negative of these terms and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements are subject to a broad variety of risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown. Any inaccuracy in our assumptions and estimates could affect the realization of the expectations or forecasts in these forward-looking statements. For example, our business could be impacted by geopolitical conditions such as the ongoing political and trade tensions with China and the wars in Ukraine and Israel; the market for our products may develop or recover more slowly than expected or than it has in the past; we may fail to achieve the full benefits of our restructuring plan; our operating results may fluctuate more than expected; there may be significant fluctuations in our results of operations and cash flows related to our revenue recognition or otherwise; a network or data security incident that allows unauthorized access to our network or data or our customers’ data could result in a system disruption, loss of data or damage our reputation; we could experience interruptions or performance problems associated with our technology, including a service outage; and global economic conditions could deteriorate, including due to increasing interest rates, rising inflation and any potential recession. It is not possible for us to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. 

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances described in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. Moreover, neither we, nor any other person, assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these statements. Except to the extent required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any information or any forward-looking statements. Investors are urged to review in detail the risks and uncertainties discussed in our 2022 Annual Report on Form 20-F, current reports on Form 6-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Medienkontakte:

For VT:
Gina DeRossi
[email protected]

For NY:
Erica McGill
[email protected]

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