GlobalFoundries Reportedly Files for IPO, Countering Intel’s Acquisition Interest

By Todd R. Weiss

August 19, 2021

In July, reports that Intel is pursuing a $30 billion acquisition of chip fab operation GlobalFoundries threw the chip market into a tizzy, with Intel declining to comment and industry analysts offering a wide range of comments about the possibilities of such a deal.

Things have been relatively quiet since that original July 15 report by The Wall Street Journal, but a new Aug. 18 (Wednesday) story by Reuters just tossed some more gasoline onto the rumor frenzy with a report stating that GlobalFoundries is pursuing an IPO in the United States through a confidential filing meant to keep the action out of the limelight.

The proposed IPO could value the chipmaker at about $25 billion, according to Reuters, based on interviews with people who are familiar with the matter.

“The move is the clearest sign yet that GlobalFoundries … is not eager to accept a potential tie-up with Intel Corp.,” the story continued. “GlobalFoundries is working with Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG on the IPO preparations,” according to Reuters’ sources.

The IPO filing by GlobalFoundries is expected to be revealed in October, the Reuters story continues, and will go public by the end of 2021 or by early 2022, “depending on how quickly its application is processed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the sources said.”

No formal offer has yet been made by Intel for GlobalFoundries, and it may not even happen due to market conditions and timing issues, the report continued.

But GlobalFoundries may not be waiting around to see if a move comes from Intel, the report states.

“GlobalFoundries is concerned that such a combination would upset some of its key customers that compete with Intel, such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc.,” according to Reuters’s sources. “It could also face intense antitrust scrutiny from U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration, which has become more hostile to transformative mergers, the sources added.”

Growing its foundry business and chipmaking capacity are both high on Intel’s public agenda as the company unveiled recent moves to re-establish its leadership position in semiconductors as part of Gelsinger’s ambitious IDM 2.0 (Integrated Device Manufacturing) strategy to reinvigorate its operations.

The company has been looking at ways of building more chips for other companies as well as its own Intel chips as demand for chips continues soars around the globe. Chip shortages due to disruptions and cutbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to rile whole industries, from computers to cars and trucks, consumer goods and more, with expectations that the supply problems could continue through 2023.

It has been an interesting year so far for chipmaker Intel.

In February, Intel alum Pat Gelsinger, who worked for the company for 30 years before leaving for leadership positions at EMC and then at VMware, rejoined Intel, this time as CEO after he had reportedly been overlooked for the post his first time around.

In March, just a month after Gelsinger rejoined Intel, the company announced ambitious plans to spend $20 billion to build two new fabs to dramatically increase its computer chip production capabilities.

Intel’s interest in boosting its chip production is so central to its plans that another report in July said the company could spend an additional $20 billion to also build two chip fabs in Europe if it can get government subsidies. The July 14 story by Data Centre Dynamics said the company is eyeing countries including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, with the possibility of spending some $100 billion on chip plants in Europe over the next several decades.

GlobalFoundries, meanwhile, has not stayed pat in 2021. In July,  just days after The Wall Street Journal report that Intel is seeking to buy GlobalFoundries, the company announced that it is planning to spend $1 billion to add needed chip manufacturing capacity as soon as possible at its fab plant in Malta, N.Y., while also unveiling its intentions to add an all-new fab plant that will double its overall chip production. The moves are meant to help resolve ongoing U.S. semiconductor supply chain shortages.

The coming investments are part of the company’s broader global expansion plans that include the recently announced new fab in Singapore and $1 billion planned investment to expand in Germany, which are being done to meet the growing demand from customers worldwide, the statement added.

GlobalFoundries employs more than 15,000 people worldwide, including 7,000 people across the U.S., and nearly 3,000 at its headquarters in Malta, New York. The company has invested more than $15 billion in its Fab 8 facility over the last decade to support innovation and increase manufacturing capacity.

GlobalFoundries’ CEO Caulfield strongly denied the rumors of an acquisition by Intel during an interview about the fab news on July 19 with CNBC business reporter, Jon Fortt.

“There’s nothing to that story,” Caulfield told Fortt in the interview.

Fortt also asked Caulfield about whether he has concerns about building more chip fab plants due to previous industry boom and bust patterns over the years.

“The reason why I have confidence that we’re not going to have this burst of capacity and create some of the old cyclicality of the industry – it’s very simple,” said Caulfield. “This industry has to double in the next few years.”

In April, GlobalFoundries also announced that it is moving its corporate headquarters to Malta, where it has its most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

Owned by Mubadala Investment Co., which is an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, GlobalFoundries is based in the U.S. and was created in 2008 when it was spun off by Intel rival AMD.

Gelsinger succeeded Bob Swan at Intel when he returned in February, tasked with the job of reinvigorating the monolithic company and breathing new energy and life into its organization, products and leadership. Gelsinger’s hiring came after activist hedge fund Third Point had urged Intel’s board to explore “strategic alternatives” after manufacturing setbacks plagued the company and resulted in a two-to-three year lag in process leadership.

In June, four months after taking over the reins of Intel, Gelsinger announced a string of executive leadership changes as he continues to shake things up inside a company that leads its marketplace but could use a boost in energy.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Rockport Networks Launches 300 Gbps Switchless Fabric, Reveals 396-Node Deployment at TACC

October 27, 2021

Rockport Networks emerged from stealth this week with the launch of its 300 Gbps switchless networking architecture focused on the needs of the high-performance computing and the advanced-scale AI market. Early customers Read more…

AWS Adds Gaudi-Powered, ML-Optimized EC2 DL1 Instances, Now in GA

October 27, 2021

As machine learning becomes a dominating use case for local and cloud computing, companies are racing to provide solutions specifically optimized and accelerated for AI applications. Now, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is int Read more…

Fireside Chat with LBNL’s Advanced Quantum Testbed Director

October 26, 2021

Last week, Irfan Siddiqi led a “fireside chat” with a few media and analysts to introduce the Department of Energy’s relatively new Advanced Quantum Testbed (AQT), which is based at Lawrence Berkeley National Labor Read more…

Graphcore Introduces Larger-Than-Ever IPU-Based Pods

October 22, 2021

After launching its second-generation intelligence processing units (IPUs) in 2020, four years after emerging from stealth, Graphcore is now boosting its product line with its largest commercially-available IPU-based sys Read more…

Quantum Chemistry Project to Be Among the First on EuroHPC’s LUMI System

October 22, 2021

Finland’s CSC has just installed the first module of LUMI, a 550-peak petaflops system supported by the European Union’s EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. While LUMI -- pictured in the header -- isn’t slated to complete i Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 577238446

Putting bitrates into perspective

Recently, we talked about the advances NICE DCV has made to push pixels from cloud-hosted desktops or applications over the internet even more efficiently than before. Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

Rockport Networks Launches 300 Gbps Switchless Fabric, Reveals 396-Node Deployment at TACC

October 27, 2021

Rockport Networks emerged from stealth this week with the launch of its 300 Gbps switchless networking architecture focused on the needs of the high-performance Read more…

AWS Adds Gaudi-Powered, ML-Optimized EC2 DL1 Instances, Now in GA

October 27, 2021

As machine learning becomes a dominating use case for local and cloud computing, companies are racing to provide solutions specifically optimized and accelerate Read more…

Fireside Chat with LBNL’s Advanced Quantum Testbed Director

October 26, 2021

Last week, Irfan Siddiqi led a “fireside chat” with a few media and analysts to introduce the Department of Energy’s relatively new Advanced Quantum Testb Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

LLNL Prepares the Water and Power Infrastructure for El Capitan

October 21, 2021

When it’s (ostensibly) ready in early 2023, El Capitan is expected to deliver in excess of two exaflops of peak computing power – around four times the powe Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Quantum Workforce – NSTC Report Highlights Need for International Talent

October 13, 2021

Attracting and training the needed quantum workforce to fuel the ongoing quantum information sciences (QIS) revolution is a hot topic these days. Last week, the U.S. National Science and Technology Council issued a report – The Role of International Talent in Quantum Information Science... Read more…

Enter Dojo: Tesla Reveals Design for Modular Supercomputer & D1 Chip

August 20, 2021

Two months ago, Tesla revealed a massive GPU cluster that it said was “roughly the number five supercomputer in the world,” and which was just a precursor to Tesla’s real supercomputing moonshot: the long-rumored, little-detailed Dojo system. Read more…

Esperanto, Silicon in Hand, Champions the Efficiency of Its 1,092-Core RISC-V Chip

August 27, 2021

Esperanto Technologies made waves last December when it announced ET-SoC-1, a new RISC-V-based chip aimed at machine learning that packed nearly 1,100 cores onto a package small enough to fit six times over on a single PCIe card. Now, Esperanto is back, silicon in-hand and taking aim... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer... Read more…

Intel Completes LLVM Adoption; Will End Updates to Classic C/C++ Compilers in Future

August 10, 2021

Intel reported in a blog this week that its adoption of the open source LLVM architecture for Intel’s C/C++ compiler is complete. The transition is part of In Read more…

Hot Chips: Here Come the DPUs and IPUs from Arm, Nvidia and Intel

August 25, 2021

The emergence of data processing units (DPU) and infrastructure processing units (IPU) as potentially important pieces in cloud and datacenter architectures was Read more…

AMD-Xilinx Deal Gains UK, EU Approvals — China’s Decision Still Pending

July 1, 2021

AMD’s planned acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx is now in the hands of Chinese regulators after needed antitrust approvals for the $35 billion deal were receiv Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

HPE Wins $2B GreenLake HPC-as-a-Service Deal with NSA

September 1, 2021

In the heated, oft-contentious, government IT space, HPE has won a massive $2 billion contract to provide HPC and AI services to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA). Following on the heels of the now-canceled $10 billion JEDI contract (reissued as JWCC) and a $10 billion... Read more…

Intel Unveils New Node Names; Sapphire Rapids Is Now an ‘Intel 7’ CPU

July 27, 2021

What's a preeminent chip company to do when its process node technology lags the competition by (roughly) one generation, but outmoded naming conventions make i Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

The Latest MLPerf Inference Results: Nvidia GPUs Hold Sway but Here Come CPUs and Intel

September 22, 2021

The latest round of MLPerf inference benchmark (v 1.1) results was released today and Nvidia again dominated, sweeping the top spots in the closed (apples-to-ap Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire