According to Toralf Gueldner, director of production at AMD's Dresden fabs, the company has been able to produce 65 nm products since June. This has been followed by 'full flow' this month [September 2006] and will be followed by serious 65 nm shipments in October.
Even more intriguing is the fact that Gueldner expects AMD to be "fully converted" over to 65 nm by mid-2007. He didn't elaborate, however.
Gueldner also revealed that AMD had already created its first 45 nm test chips. In the distant future they will be followed by 32 nm and 22 nm products.
What AMD really wanted to talk about is the gradual conversion of its existing Fab 30 over to 300 mm wafers from 200 mm. AMD will then rename the Fab from 30 to Fab 38. It should then start producing its first 20K 300 mm wafers from Fab 38 in Q1 2008.
The reason why AMD can afford to phase Fab 30 out is thanks to the existence of Fab 36 producing 90 nm SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) already.
The company has made a number of improvements to yields from its silicon. One reason being that the company supplying its masks now has a factory down the road in Germany. The wafers are still sent to Singapore to be cut and packaged, however.
Another good reason for increased yields is its adoption of Front Opening Shipping Boxes (FOSBs). These keep the wafers almost hermetically sealed for the vast majority of the production process - only exposing them to its cleanroom standard of 100 particles per cubic metre of air on very rare occasions.
AMD claims that in the list of fabs operated by all the members of the Sematech alliance, Dresden comes absolutely top. It wouldn't say where Intel came on the chart.
The final major achievement AMD is proud of is that Dresden has proved to be a major employer of former citizens of East Germany. µ
AMD 65 nm chips are on track.
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