AMD sold out of Flash well into 2001
Bodes well for bottom line
Chip company AMD confirmed today that it has sold out of its entire Flash capacity not just for the year 2000, but for next year too. AMD has a joint venture with Fujitsu, dubbed FASL, which has five fabs around the world producing product. Peter Heinrich, director of marketing of AMD's memory group in Europe, said, however, that it was unlikely consumers will be affected by the shortages, caused by a vast increase in demand for mobile phones. Heinrich said: "It is very clear that the market has changed and demand for Flash now outstrips supply. Every wafer this year is sold out to dedicated customers and that's also true for 2001." He said that most of AMD's Flash capacity went to tier one customers, with which it has long term agreements. Those customers have already secured their allocations for next year, but Heinrich said AMD has also acted to ensure that the firm's distributors are unaffected by the shortage. He said: "We can count on the revenues from Flash for both this year and next." Mobile phones account for the lion's share of demand for Flash, he said. "Mobile phones is one of the bigger market segments but we serve various other segments too," he said. There will be 435 million phones built worldwide this year, AMD estimates. He said that it wasn't just Flash which was affected. "There's a shortage of capacitors, displays and filters because of the enormous growth too," he said. AMD's CEO Jerry Sanders said at a shareholder's meeting last week that his firm and Fujitsu were investing heavily to meet future Flash demand. Heinrich's observations were confirmed by Richard Gordon, senior memory analyst at Dataquest Europe. He said that Flash revenues were expected to rise by 100 per cent this year. "Nokia and Ericcson are putting in place deals that guarantee supplies," he said. "Portable applications are fuelling the market," he added.