GlobalFoundries opens new hub facility in Penang

A screen displays the logo of GlobalFoundries in Times Square, New York. - Reuters

GEORGE TOWN: Semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries (GF) has officially opened its new hub facility in Penang that will be utilised to oversee the company’s global operations.

Chief manufacturing officer Ang Kay Chai said the new Penang operation would ensure that all GF’s global manufacturing sites in Singapore, the United States and Europe have fundamental round-the-clock support, enabling the company to maintain supply chain resiliency and sustainability for global operations.

"We want to use global resources here and in Bangalore to do this (remotely run factory operations) and support our factories all over the world 24/7,” he told a press conference after the official opening ceremony in Bayan Baru near here today.

Ang said the GF Malaysia office is part of a strategic hub network that leverages the company's global footprint and complements its advanced manufacturing facilities across the globe by providing engineering resources to supplement operations on a real-time basis.

He added that this site would utilise the latest digital manufacturing technologies such as remote access, Industry 4.0 solutions and GF's state-of-the-art factory control tower (FCT).

The company invested US$1 million (US$1=RM4.69) for the FCT in the Penang hub, and it would also invest up to US$7 million for the training of the engineers and technicians in the facility for the next three years, he said.

Currently, Ang said the hub has about 300 engineers and technicians, but GF would look at hiring an additional 500 to 600 engineers and technicians should demand continue to grow.

"We are taking up one floor now for the hub but if this proves a successful model, we aim to expand up to six floors,” he added.

Ang said they discovered this way of operating the factories virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic, and now, they are the pioneers in setting up remote hubs.

He said GF chose Penang to set up the FCT due to the availability of talents with semiconductor backgrounds here, on top of the state being a vibrant location for semiconductor manufacturing innovation.

Present to officiate the facility, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said GF would train the employees in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate processes in semiconductor manufacturing further.

"We look forward to that knowledge-sharing and skillset transfer for the 300 engineers and technicians here,” he said.

Chow said the semiconductor industry is poised to grow to a US$1 trillion industry by 2030.

Present in 15 locations globally and with about 13,000 employees worldwide, GF operates manufacturing fabrication plants in the United States, Germany and Singapore, serving more than 250 customers around the world. - Bernama

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