The "not-China" option expands ...

An Un-Common Platform
in an Un-Conventional World

by Peggy Aycinena

Today, September 7th, Advanced Technology Investment Company [ATIC] of Abu Dhabi and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing of Singapore announced “a definitive agreement whereby ATIC would acquire Chartered, one of the world’s top dedicated semiconductor foundries.”

Whether or not Chartered's a “top” foundry, the recent rise in its stock valuation has been based on the fact that it’s been busy shopping itself around looking for a buyer. Now that they’ve got their buyer, what will be the impact?

Let’s look at a map of the Common Platform world, as it has stood for several years. First, however, here's a blurb from the current Common Platform marketing brochure:

You can access advanced 90, 65 and 45/40nm technology, and now industry-changing 32/28nm HKMG technology, though the Common Platform collaboration of IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Samsung. By working in a joint-development alliance with premier IDM companies, we can offer an open foundation, as well as qualified IP, to help you reduce R&D expense and expedite manufacturing at three, globally dispersed foundries."

Got it?

Okay, here's the Common Platform World:


Now let's look at that map after ATIC, wholly owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, becomes the sole owner of Chartered, remembering that Abu Dhabi/ATIC recently partnered with AMD to created GlobalFoundries, a manufacturing entity with facilities up and running in Dresden, Germany, and soon to be constructed in New York.

Here's the resulting Un-Common Platform World:


You're free to draw your own conclusions from these simple graphics, even if that conclusion is that there's really nothing of note in all of this.

My conclusion, however, is that even though in a conventional world there might be concern about what a fabulously wealthy, petrol-dollar-driven monarchy will do with a universe of IBM-fueled manufacturing IP, not to mention AMD ... in the current state of geopolitical strange-bedfellowness, those who continue to want and need a "not-China" option are going to sleep even better at night knowing that this is exactly what today's news out of Abu Dhabi and Singapore provides.

Sweet dreams ...

September 7, 2009


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