GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. Yesterday announced a $800 million agreement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the global leader in feature-rich semiconductor manufacturing, to add 300mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer manufacturing and expand existing 200mm SOI wafer production at GWC’s MEMC facility in O’Fallon, Missouri. 

The silicon wafers produced by GWC are key input materials for semiconductors and an integral part of GF’s supply chain. The wafers are used in GF’s multi-billion dollar manufacturing facilities, or fabs, where they are used to manufacture the computer chips that are pervasive and vital to the global economy. Today’s announcement expands GF’s silicon wafer supply from the United States.

In particular, the 300mm wafers made at GWC’s MEMC site in Missouri will be used at GF’s most advanced manufacturing facility, Fab 8 in Malta, New York. The 200mm wafers also made at the Missouri site will be used at GF’s Fab 9 in Essex Junction, Vermont, to create feature-rich semiconductor solutions to meet the sharply growing demand for GF’s advanced RF technologies across a range of applications including 5G smartphones, wireless connectivity, automotive radarand aerospace.

The long-term agreement is estimated to spend nearly $210 million in capital expenditures in the next few years to expand GWC’s MEMC facility in Missouri. The 300mm pilot line is on track to be completed in Q4 this year.

GF is investing $1.4 billion in 2021 to expand its manufacturing capacity, to meet the needs of customers and address the growing global demand for computer chips. As part of this growth, GF will require an increased supply of wafers like those made by GWC. GWC is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 200mm SOI wafers and has a long and ongoing relationship with GF for supplying 200mm SOI wafers. In February 2020, GWC and GF announced intentions to collaborate closely to significantly expand GWC’s existing 300mm SOI wafer manufacturing capacity. Today’s announcement signals a significant step forward in that collaboration.

 “As a trusted semiconductor manufacturer and the world leader in RF semiconductor technology, GF has been leading the charge to accelerate U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and boost our capacity to meet the growing global demand for chips,” said GF CEO Tom Caulfield.

“We are proud to deepen our strategic partnership with GF, and to expand our important role in the U.S. semiconductor supply chain,” said Doris Hsu, Chairman and CEO of GWC. “We thank the State of Missouri for its support. We also thank our incredible O’Fallon team, whose dedication and hard work have enabled our success and growth. We look forward to ramping up our 300mm pilot line this year, and accelerating our build-out with GF.”