Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is on track to soon receive its first shipment of 64-bit microprocessors manufactured by Singapore’s Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, a company spokesman said Thursday.
“Things are looking very, very good,” said Rob Keyosheyan, a company spokesman.
Keyosheyan declined to say exactly when AMD would receive the first shipment of processors from Chartered, but said that is on track to happen during the second half of this year. The first AMD chips that come out of Chartered’s factories will be made using a 90-nanometer manufacturing process, not a 65-nanometer process as some reports have claimed, he said.
Over time, AMD and Chartered eventually plan to shift production to a 65-nanometer process, he said.
These numbers, measured in millionths of a meter, refer to the size of the smallest feature that can be created on a silicon chip. Smaller is better, as this generally brings a reduction in power consumption, a boost in performance and a reduction in unit manufacturing costs.
Chartered has been preparing to produce 64-bit processors for AMD since late 2004, when the two companies signed a manufacturing agreement. At that time, the two partners said the first chips would be produced in 2006.
AMD has its own manufacturing plants, including the recently completed Fab 36 plant in Dresden, Germany. The company is using Chartered as a contractor to supply “flex capacity.” In theory, this allows AMD’s own factories to operate at maximum capacity, while Chartered’s output can be modified to handle fluctuations in demand caused by factors like seasonality.
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service
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