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Ford (F) to collaborate with chip maker GlobalFoundries (GFS)

By Carreen Maloney

21:21, 18 November 2021

Ford logo
Ford and GlobalFoundries join forces to address chip shortage – Photo: Shutterstock

Ford Motor Company is entering into a strategic collaboration with semiconductor chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries, an alliance designed to address the global chip shortage that has plagued car makers during the pandemic.

The purpose of the non-binding agreement is to “advance semiconductor manufacturing and technology development within the United States.” The companies are “aiming to boost chip supplies for Ford and the U.S. automotive industry,” Ford and GlobalFoundries announced in a press release. The agreement does not involve co-ownership.

Joint R&D

The collaboration enables Ford (F) and GlobalFoundries (GFS) to conduct joint research and development of the feature-rich chips that perform functions such as battery management, vehicle networking, and the operation of advanced systems to assist drivers.

“It’s critical that we create new ways of working with suppliers to give Ford – and America – greater independence in delivering the technologies and features our customers will most value in the future,” said Jim Farley, Ford's president and CEO. “This agreement is just the beginning, and a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key technologies and capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future.”

Along with manufacturing chips for vehicles, GlobalFoundries’ chips are also used in smart mobile devices, personal computers, and for commercial infrastructure and industrial applications.

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Supply-demand balance

Tom Caulfield, GlobalFoundries’ CEO, said the alliance with Ford will create additional inroads within the automotive industry while helping to shore up chip supply.

“GF is committed to building innovative alliances with the world’s leading companies to enable the features in products that are pervasive throughout people’s lives,” Caulfield said. “Our agreement with Ford is a key step forward in strengthening our cooperation and partnership with automakers to spur innovation, bring new features to market faster, and ensure long-term, supply-demand balance.”

In April of this year, GlobalFoundries announced it was relocating its company headquarters from Santa Clara, the centre of California’s Silicon Valley. It moved to Malta, New York, the site of its most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility known as Fab 8. In the past 10 years, GlobalFoundries has invested $15bn in Fab 8.

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