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1GHz copper Athlon production starts next week

Strange but true - the new-look efficient AMD seems to be on schedule

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The first copper Athlon production should roll out of AMD's Dresden Fab 30 next week, after the plant's official opening on Wednesday. That means that despite problems with cost, and associated negotiations with Motorola to help fund Dresden development, AMD is probably on schedule for 1GHz copper Athlon parts for Q1 next year. AMD has an unpleasant history of not quite managing to get its production schedules together, but so far Dresden doesn't look at all bad. It's the first plant outside of the US capable of using a copper process, and as it comes into commission this year it seems to have been hitting its targets. AMD announced it had produced copper K6s in early July, close enough to the Q2 target for getting copper fabbing on-line, and the target for copper Athlon production is Q4 - i.e., now. Presumably we wouldn't be opening Fab 30 officially if it weren't, er, open. Initial production is intended to be at 0.18 micron, with a maximum Fab capacity of 5,500 wafers a week, and 300 Athlons per wafer. That's a lot of Athlons, but the big question now will be yield - if AMD can get this up fast, it could be sitting pretty at last. ®

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