APM is a process control which consists of more than 450 patented technologies that enable seamless flow of the manufacturing process from ordering the CPUs to finished chips, claims AMD.
And when Chartered Fab7 in Singapore completed the move to APM, the Fab experienced a very fast ramp up and yield increase, AMD spinners reckon. The move ended just in time for the second wave of orders for IBM triple-headed CPUs that power Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming consoles. The CPU had some problems at the very beginning, but today it's as solid as a rock, and manufactured using a 90 nanometre SOI process. The production will eventually move to a 65 nanometre SOI process, and then you can expect 65nm AMD "Made in Singapore" CPUs as well.
Right now, Fab7 produces Xbox 360 CPUs and is ramping up the manufacturing of wafers that contain AMD processors. Given the time for wafer production, you can expect the first AMD chips coming from Fab7 around Computex, in June. AMD reps are still talking about revenue production in the second half of 2006, but you need to take calendar in hand and calculate the time of wafer production. It usually takes from 60 to 90 days from a blank wafer to a completed, packaged and tested product.
If you're interested in hard-boiled data, here's some. Current Fab7 production when it comes to the AMD side is 2,000 wafer starts per month. This translates to around 1.8 to two million dual core dies per quarter, with an expected ramp to 5,000 wafer starts in summer - between 4.3 and 5 million dual core dies.
Xbox 360 CPU production is currently running at 5,000 wafer starts per month, while production of another console processor, IBM's Cell - is expected to come on-line in Q3, with an initial ramp of 5,000 wafer starts per month as well. Overall, Chartered could end up this year with a production of all three of the hottest CPUs out there: Opterons, PowerPC 970FX and Cell. µ
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