CEO hints at further chip fab growth
Updated 6:46 p.m.
ALBANY GlobalFoundries CEO Ajit Manocha on Thursday hinted that a second computer chip factory could be coming to the Fab 8 site in Saratoga County, even as he promoted the company's new plans for a $2 billion research center.
If a second plant happens, it would be an out-growth of burgeoning demand for smartphone chips and the advanced technology research already being done in New York, he said.
"Fab 8.2 will be close to a $10 billion investment, when we are ready to proceed," Manocha said. "We are committed to New York state."
Manocha referenced the potential for a second factory at Fab 8 several times during a speech at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, but later declined to go into any detail.
Manocha and Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy were speakers at a rally-style announcement about the Technology Development Center's economic impact on Thursday, held in a rotunda at the $14 billion nano-college, an academic and research complex at the University at Albany.
"I'm a lifelong upstater. You are transforming our economy," said Duffy, a former mayor of Rochester.
The zoning of GlobalFoundries' 223-acre Fab 8 site in Malta and Stillwater allows for up to three manufacturing facilities, but the planned 557,000-square-foot Technology Development Center probably counts as the second manufacturing facility. With the technology center, GlobalFoundries will have invested more than $8 billion in Malta and Stillwater since 2009.
At least one other speaker picked up on Manocha's reference.
"We would love to have you spend your $10 billion," Alain Kaloyeros, senior vice president and CEO of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, told Manocha.
GlobalFoundries already has 65 engineers and scientists doing research at the nano-college, and Manocha said the Technology Development Center at Fab 8 will build on that work.
"We can't do it by ourselves," Manocha said.
The company and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans for the technology center Tuesday, saying it could mean an additional 1,000 jobs at Fab 8. Employment there now is around 2,000.
Plans for construction to start this spring, with the technology center to be completed in late 2014.
"We're seeing huge investments from GlobalFoundries," said Duffy, who serves as Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state-wide point man on economic development. "This is a tremendous return on the state's initial investment."