Updated 03/28/2012 09:22 PM
Officials learn science behind GlobalFoundries
The semiconductor industry is exploding in Upstate New York, with GlobalFoundries as one of the most notable ventures. Our C.J. Spang has more on the company's efforts to tell the public what they're creating.
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MALTA, N.Y. -- While it's the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the United States, there's still some mystery about what exactly GlobalFoundries does.
"It's obviously important for the community, for the region, to understand what we are and what we're doing and quite frankly, what we need," said GlobalFoundries spokesperson Travis Bullard. "Because we are the first manufacturing, production plant like this in the area."
At an informational session Wednesday, dozens of Saratoga County officials learned some of the science of the three to four month process involving 1,200 to 1,600 steps it takes to make a silicon wafer. Other companies take the wafers and turn them into computer chips used in digital devices. Officials say it's vital they know as much as they can about the process.
"For every dollar that we spend in an investment here, we're looking for a return on that dollar. We owe it to our taxpayers to bring a return on that dollar," said Clifton Park Supervisor Anita Daly. "So to make every decision in an informed way is critical. Our future depends on that."
GlobalFoundries says it's educated people from around the world about the semiconductor industry. The company says it's important to do the same in this community, so people know exactly what's going on at the Fab 8 facility.
"When we first went into Dresden, Germany, folks didn't really know who we were or what we did or anything about semiconductor manufacturing," Bullard said. "Now, Dresden, Germany, is known as Silicon Saxony. It's really sort of the Silicon Valley of Europe. We see that same potential in this market."
GlobalFoundries currently has about 1,300 employees on site and plans to ramp up to volume production at the end of this year.