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AMD 'on schedule' for 2006 65nm 300mm production

Fab 36 pumping out test wafers as we speak

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AMD has begun producing 300mm wafers at its Dresden, Germany-located Fab 36 plant, a key step in its plan to enter full-scale production next year.

The chip maker is currently churning out SRAM memory chips in order to qualify the production equipment, Tom Sonderman, AMD's precision manufacturing chief, said this week in an interview with EETimes.

"We are making great strides with IBM and our SRAM yields are hitting all our milestones," he said. "The whole idea is to begin to process 65nm in the middle of 2005 and bring it into production in 2006. We're certainly on schedule."

According to Sonderman, by the middle of this year, all of AMD's 64-bit processors will be fabbed using a 90nm SOI process. Most of the company's AMD64 chips already are, with only older CPUs like the Athlon MP and the 32-bit Sempron line actively being fabbed at 130nm - and even these may be being sold from existing stock rather than new wafer starts.

AMD is currently working with foundry partner Chartered to install AMD-qualified equipment in Singapore ahead of Chartered's roll-out of AMD64 CPUs next year, Sonderman said. AMD is believed to be pursuing other foundry deals, primarily as a way of reducing its exposure to the ever-increasing cost of building and equipping processor production plant. ®

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