GlobalFoundries Dresden: Interview with Dr. Manfred Horstmann, Sr. Vice President and General Manager

How does GlobalFoundries Dresden view the location? What role does the Saxon microelectronics network play for the company? Where does joint location work end and competition begin? What conditions are absolutely necessary for future growth? Find out all this and much more in the interview with Dr. Manfred Horstmann.

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Silicon Saxony

Marketing, Kommunikation und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Manfred-von-Ardenne-Ring 20 F

Telefon: +49 351 8925 886

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But before that, let’s take a quick look at the Fab 1 of GlobalFoundries..

  • Date of opening: 20.10.1999 (Grand Opening)
  • Number of production sites worldwide: 5
  • Initial investment cost: 1.9 billion USD
  • Size of the factory (area): 407,000 m²
  • Clean room(s) size: 52,000 m²
  • Produced structure sizes: 55-22 nm
  • Number of wafers produced per year: max. capacity 850,000
  • Wafer size: 300 mm
  • Application industries (top 3): Mobile Communication, Automotive, IoT
  • Number of employees: 3,000
  • Number of nationalities: approx. 50
  • Proportion of women: 16 %
  • Skilled workers sought (top 5): Maintenance Engineer:inside, Maintenance Engineer:inside, Process Engineer:inside, Manufacturing Engineer:inside, Equipment Engineer:inside
  • Skills Wanted (Top 5): Ability to work in a team, willingness to learn, enjoy technical challenges, openness to a diverse work environment (global mindset), basic English

 © GlobalFoundries Dresden

Dr. Horstmann, what is the importance of the Dresden site for the Group?
GF’s Dresden site is the growth engine for our Group and also the lead site for the power-saving 22FDX technology. In addition to volume production, our focus is on production-related Technology Development (TD). Fab 1 has extensive collaborations with universities and research institutes and has its own state-of-the-art mask house in a JV with Toppan.

In which specific areas have investments been made since opening and how high were these investments in total?
Since 1996, we have invested a double-digit billion amount in technology development and production.

For which uses does the Dresden site produce? What exactly can the chips produced do and in which sectors/industries are they used?
Our particular focus is on differentiated solutions for data-centric, networked, intelligent and secure applications. These include smart mobile devices, automotive, communications infrastructure and data center, home & industrial IoT. These customer products can be found in all areas of our everyday life, from smartphones to cars to bank cards.

There are now several fabs, numerous supplier companies and research institutions, as well as microelectronics-related software companies in Saxony. In which areas is the network particularly important for your company?

Networks are of enormous importance in the semiconductor industry. These include (research) cooperations, such as we have with various players in Silicon Saxony, the close exchange with universities and research institutions, through which we also recruit our young talent, and the joint representation of semiconductor interests in Berlin & Brussels. And last but not least, microelectronics clusters with the “critical mass” like Silicon Saxony are attractive for equipment suppliers and vendors – a win-win situation for all involved.

Are there any concrete cooperation projects here with other players at the location and if so, which ones?

In addition to our long-standing and successful partnership with Fraunhofer CNT, I can mention another current cooperation – the ARAMID project, in which we are developing a test chip with innovative radar solutions for the next generation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) based on our 22FDX technology together with Bosch Sensortec Dresden and other local partners (Semitec, Fraunhofer IKTS and Fraunhofer IIS/EAS).

The topic of skilled workers does not only move us. Currently, Saxony’s ICT industry is growing by around 5,000 skilled workers per year, which equates to more than 100,000 skilled workers in 2030 if growth remains constant. What role does direct proximity to other fabs play in the context of your skilled workforce strategy? Does it tend to make the location more attractive or the competition greater?
A strong cluster definitely makes the location more attractive for skilled workers. Attractive employers can draw skilled workers from all over the world to Saxony. However, this requires greater internationalization of the location and a convincing welcoming culture – our competitors for the brightest minds are in Asia and the USA.

Almost all semiconductor manufacturers are expanding their capacities at the site, and global players such as TSMC and Intel are joining them. What impact does this have for you with regard to supply chains, service providers, raw materials and also skilled workers?  

Time will tell!

What is your vision for the location? How (gladly with concrete examples) should it be further developed?

We will continue and expand our current strategy of strong platforms with many differentiated solutions for demanding European markets and customers. Against the background of supply chain security, this is our great strength and offers our customers security of supply.

Thank you very much for the interview, Dr. Horstmann.

This interview was first published as part of our NEXT magazine “In Focus: Microelectronics”. All other interviews of the Saxon semiconductor plants can be found in the complete edition.

👉 Go to the complete issue of the magazine 

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