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AMD's Fab 36 has begun making the company money, the chip maker announced today. Processors rolling off the plant's production lines last month became the first parts to be shipped to paying customers, the company said.

Fab 36 is AMD's first 300mm-wafer fab, punching out chips made using a 90nm process, though it's scheduled to be "substantially" converted to 65nm production by the middle of 2007. AMD said the fab will begin "production shipments" of 65nm parts in the second half of 2006.

AMD has said it will double its production capacity between 2005 and 2008, and today said Fab 36 will contribute directly to that effort. So too will the chip maker's foundry pact with Chartered Semiconductor. That deal, announced in November 2004, is set to bear fruit early Q3, if recent reports on the web are anything to go by. Chartered has said in the past it will ship 90nm AMD64 chips in H2 2006, though a Forbes report this week said shipments will commence in June.

Boosting production capacity one way or another is essential if AMD is to consolidate its market-share gains. Output has traditionally been seen as a barrier to the company's growth, and it's even more an issue now it's winning more and more business away from its arch-rival, Intel. The higher yields offered by 300mm wafers will help significantly.

AMD decided to site Fab 36 in Dresden, Germany, near its existing plant, in November 2003. Work started on its construction the following year, and by April 2005 the facility was already said to be pumping out test chips. ®

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