GlobalFoundries: We are building on Dresden
August 03, 2009 //
I am an American, and I am now living here in Dresden. This is my second assignment here, following a two year stint nearly 10 years ago. I have worked for the past nearly 20 years for Advanced Micro Devices. AMD is one of only two companies left in the world that design and build microprocessors.
DRESDEN, Germany I am an American, and I am now living here in Dresden. This is my second assignment here, following a two year stint nearly 10 years ago. I have worked for the past nearly 20 years for Advanced Micro Devices. AMD is one of only two companies left in the world that design and build microprocessors.
What are we (and I) doing here? The answer is simple. While microprocessors are the most complicated things ever built by man, the plants that build them are the most expensive to build and the most complicated to run of any plants anywhere. A chip factory today can easily cost $4 billion or more, and require over 1,000 highly trained engineers and several hundred technicians to operate. These are the reasons AMD (and I) have been here in Dresden for over 10 years.
AMD and the government here in Germany have consistently found a way to help AMD access the capital to build its factories here. Through several generations of chips and factories, combinations of loans from the government entities, loan guarantees that have helped AMD line up bank financing, and grants for R&D and job creation and training. AMD has been able to access the capital to build two technologically leading chip plants here in Dresden. This type of help was not then available in the United States and without this help, the world would have only one company left that designs and builds microprocessors.
We also found here in Dresden the technical talent * the engineers and technicians * to build and operate plants like this. The educational background of our employees here is higher than that in the United States. The employees here have a broader and deeper exposure to math and science in school 'and that is what is needed to compete in this industry. AMD has had to compete against a company that is larger, better capitalized, and has considerably more engineers than we have had. In order to compete, you have to have employees that can learn faster and work smarter. For over 10 years our experience has been that those sorts of employees can be found here in Dresden, and the teamwork established among the employees here and with the many employees from the U.S. that have worked here has led to a team that has successfully competed in the very competitive semiconductor industry against larger, better funded competitors. Recently AMD has placed the operations here into a new company, Globalfoundries. The new company contains the operations here and includes a commitment to fund further capital needs from ATIC, the technology investment arm of Abu Dhabi. The idea is to use the technology and manufacturing here and in future plants to provide silicon for not only AMD, but also for other companies that need access to this technology but cannot afford to build the factories themselves. The competition will, of course, be intense'including not just Intel (the competitor of AMD), but also TSMC'the largest such silicon foundry company in the world, located in Taiwan. The same two keys *access to capital to invest, and talented and dedicated employees working together as a team'will ultimately determine how successful this new venture will be.
Our "grand plan calls for us to start with and build on what we have here in Dresden, create a second site in New York state using the experience from here in much the same way we used our U.S. experience to build the site here many years ago. We broke ground for Fab 2 in New York on July 24, 2009, building on the valuable experiences, great efficiency and impressive potential of our Fab 1 in Dresden. The Dresden team is taking over a key function as role model for our company regarding innovative ability, swift integration of technologies, and manufacturing excellence. These abilities will be crucial for the building and success of Fab 2 and therefore for our overall success.
I have personally seen the impact a project like this can have on a city and a region. Dresden is very different today than it was 10 years ago. The transformation of the city; the restoration of all the beautiful historical buildings, the development of the region into a high technology center, the fact that today Dresden is a place where people want to live and work * little of this was in place 10 years ago. I feel that we at AMD - and now we at Globalfoundries - have been a part of and a contributor to all of this. I feel that we have a good chance to help catalyze a similar transformation in New York.
Starting with what we have here in Dresden'I like our chances.
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
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