Spirits high as GlobalFoundries breaks ground on new plant

Construction is expected to take about a year, with additional time needed to situate the specialized equipment and clean room environment necessary for manufacturing. Production is slated to begin in 2012.

Once at full capacity, officials say the facility will employ 1,465 people. Construction is expected to employ up to 2,000 people.

There is room left on the site to build two additional facilities identical to Fab 2.

The site was originally being eyed by Advanced Micro Devices, who in October of 2008 shed its manufacturing elements and formed GlobalFoundries along with investments from an Abu Dhabi company. AMD is the only buyer of GloFo chips lined up, but the hope is that many companies will have their chips made in Malta.

Many at Friday's groundbreaking praised the fruition of Fab 2 as an ideal example of how the public and private sectors can coordinate for the good of all. The state is distributing $1.2 billion to GlobalFoundries in cash and tax breaks over a period of 10 years.

"The state of New York reached out to us with an incredibly creative idea of how we could accomplish this," said Ruiz, who went on to say that LFTC was chosen after a worldwide search.

Others hailed the arrival of the factory as a victory for the American economy. AMD CEO Dirk Meyer noted that the vast majority of advanced microchip manufacturing facilities are located in Asia.

"We felt it was wrong to have the manufacturing capability of this critical industry in one area," he said. "This is a great day for GlobalFoundries, for AMD, for Upstate New York and for the U.S.A."

In 2005, AMD closed its last major domestic manufacturing operation in Austin, Texas. It transferred control of Fab 1, located in Dresden, Germany, over to GlobalFoundries when the company was formed.

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