A foundry is a company that manufactures chips in a fabrication plant (fab). Such firms rely on semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials to fabricate a chip design on a silicon wafer. Wafer fabrication is a highly capital-intensive process and requires extensive and deep knowledge, especially in the production of the most powerful, innovative chips needed in modern electronics and applications. As a result, the foundry market is concentrated among a few players in specific regions around the world: Taiwan alone accounts for around 65 percent of revenues generated by the global semiconductor foundry market.
A global chip shortage – the result of surges in demand and an imbalance in the semiconductor supply chain – has forced semiconductor companies to explore methods of increasing chip manufacturing capacity. GlobalFoundries is no exception, having announced plans to expand capacity at its manufacturing sites in the U.S., Singapore, and Germany. Similarly, TSMC and Samsung have both announced investments that will support capacity increases, particularly in the development of new fabrication plants. In addition to the semiconductor companies themselves, governments too have begun to invest heavily in chip manufacturing capabilities, with the U.S., Europe, and China all vying to have manufacturers produce more chips domestically.
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Research expert covering the global hardware industry