AMD manufacturing plans on schedule

Written by Tim Smalley

May 23, 2007 | 12:18

Tags: #45nm #65nm #chips #core #fab #manufacturing #plans #processors #quad

Companies: #amd

At a meeting with industry analysts on Monday, AMD's Director of Manufacturing Technology, Tom Sonderman, announced that it is on schedule to fully ramp up 65nm production in two of its fabs later this year.

Sonderman detailed how AMD plans to start full 65nm CPU manufacturing by the middle of this year, while also confirming that the chip maker is on schedule to start producing 45nm processors in 2008.

Currently, AMD's fastest Athlon 64 X2 processors are still manufactured on its ageing 90nm SOI process. This has resulted in higher power consumption and lower margins for AMD because the number of chips it can get out of a 300mm wafer is limited by how fine the process technology is.

If you combine this with both an aggressive price war with arch rival Intel and the $5.4 billion ATI acquisition, you have a company that has made a loss for two quarters running.

AMD's two main fabs in Germany will be responsible for all of the company's 65nm processors, with Fab 36 already online and producing 65nm chips. Fab 30, which currently manufactures 90nm chips, is on schedule to join Fab 36 later in the year. Once Fab 30's conversion is complete, Sonderman said that it will be renamed to Fab 38.

Sonderman also talked about AMD's upcoming native quad-core Opteron processors, stating that the chips will go into volume production in Fab 36 by the middle of the year, meaning that the company is still on schedule to hit its deadlines.

Moving all of its current processors to 65nm will certainly help the chip maker improve its margins and reduce its quarterly losses, but most consumers are waiting for CPUs based on AMD's next-generation architecture.

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