Penang to be a global hub center for GlobalFoundries
- The center in Malaysia is expected to be a hub that will oversee GlobalFoundries’s global operations.
- The company is currently setting up the office in the Bayan Lepas area, which is expected to be ready in the middle of September.
- The hub will be a virtual fabric with a manufacturing control tower, where GlobalFoundries can do remote access to the activity on the production floor of its global fabs.
GlobalFoundries will open a new center of excellence in Penang — one of the biggest revelations from SEMICON Southeast Asia. The multinational semiconductor contract manufacturing and design company already has a fab in Singapore which opened in 2022. The center in Malaysia is expected to be a hub that will oversee GlobalFoundries’s global operations.
Speaking exclusively to Tech Wire Asia, KC Ang, chief manufacturing officer at GlobalFoundries, said the office in Penang will be a step towards the company goal of using all global resources.
“Penang will be one of our global hubs that we are setting up. And to make the hubs work, AI, machine learning, and automation will become a critical success factor. We want to use Penang as a global hub and monitor worldwide manufacturing across Singapore, Germany, and New York. There will be a virtual fabric with a manufacturing control tower, where we can do remote access to the activity on the production floor,” commented Ang.
Ang also mentioned that in co-corporation with Invest Penang, they had located a space in the Bayan Lepas area. The company is currently setting up the office, which is expected to be ready in the middle of September. He added that GlobalFoundries is also recruiting employees, with around 20 trained in the Singapore fab.
“The semiconductor will continue to grow to over US$1 trillion by 2030. We did see a slowdown last year, but I believe this slowdown is temporary, and once the inventory gets digested, it will come up again. A good thing about Global Foundries is that despite the slowdown, our output remains consistent because we are diversified. We are not only focusing on the mobile phone business but diversifying ourselves into automotive, IoT, and the PC and compute segment to the extent that we are also involved in some medical areas. Diversification is what we are doing, and with our feature-rich technology, we can capture the whole range of customers and products despite the downturn we see,” explained Ang.
The automotive industry, in particular, is an area GlobalFoundries focuses on. Ang pointed out that the autonomous vehicle industry, for example, has a lot of segments, which is also one of the fastest-growing areas in its product portfolio.
“Dealing with the automotive industry is something that not every company can do. From the quality expectations standpoint, you need to reach a certain standard. Our quality in line meets our customers’ requirements: an automotive specification. Our Singapore, Germany, and US sites are all automotive certified, and the people’s behavior to deal with these automotive products and devices they all trade. That’s why our customers feel very comfortable that we are doing the automotive products,” added Ang.
Ang was also awarded the SEMI SEA Industry Leader of the Year Award for 2023 at SEMICON Southeast Asia. Yet, as an industry veteran for more than 30 years, Ang feels that the most significant concern he sees currently in the semiconductor industry is the talent shortage. This is an area that GlobalFoundries is also very active in through collaborations with universities and institutions. They have provided a lot of semiconductor courses to upskill the educational system in Singapore, and now, they may do the same in Malaysia as well.
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