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AMD CPU production deal yields revenues

Chartered chips reach customers

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AMD's foundry deal with Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor has begun to yield money-making microprocessors, the chip maker said today. So-called "revenue shipments" began last month, AMD revealed - the foundry is shipping chips to paying customers.

Chartered's Fab 7 300mm-wafer facility is punching out 90nm AMD64-class processors, though AMD itself didn't whether its partner is producing Opterons, Athlons, Turions or Semprons, or a mixture of the four families. However, it claimed the arrangement was operating "ahead of schedule".

AMD will continue to enhance operations at Chartered with a planned transition to 65nm process technology in mid-2007, the chip maker said.

AMD signed Chartered back in November 2004 with a view to volume production in 2006. The deal was struck to provide AMD with extra capacity while its own 300mm-wafer fab, Fab 36, came on stream and to help the chip maker achieve its goal of a doubling of production capacity between 2005 and 2008. AMD announced Fab 36 was generating "revenue shipments" in April this year.

The arrangement is a canny one. It allows AMD to ramp up output and establish working practices for future foundry partnerships while at the same time retaining the quality control only achieveable through its own production plants. AMD has been claimed to be talking to other foundries about possible production partnerships. ®

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