Advanced Micro Devices said April 4 that it has begun shipping its first microprocessors from its second fab, Fab 36 in Dresden, Germany.
The announcement, originally released from Germany, said that AMD plans to also shift the fab from 90-nanometer wafers to 65-nm chip production at the fab later this year, matching Intel in process technology.
AMD executives said in a teleconference that Chartered Semiconductor will also serve as an additional source of microprocessors beginning in the second half of 2006.
Together with AMDs existing fab, Fab 30, the additional manufacturing options will give AMD potentially three sources of microprocessors by the end of the year, including its first 65-nm chips by 2007.
Although AMDs manufacturing timeline remains substantially behind that of rival Intel, the additional capacity will also theoretically allow AMD to make further inroads into Intels market share.
Intel began shipping its first 65-nm microprocessors in January, and said April 4 that it plans to shift its flash lines over to the same 65-nm technology by the end of 2006.
After breaking ground in 1999, AMD formally opened Fab 36 in October of last year, and said then that it planned to ship processors in production volumes during the first quarter of 2006–a timeline it appears to have roughly met.
“We promised shipments and we made good on this promise,” said Hans Deppe, vice president and general manager of AMD Saxony LLC & Co. KG, which includes Fabs 30 and 36, in a teleconference with reporters and analysts.
AMD executives clarified statements previously made by the company, saying that the new fab will produce AMD64 desktop chips, as well as the Sempron.
The companys Opteron processor will be left to Fab 30, although the designs are close enough that they could be easily transferred to the new fab, said Tom Sonderman, director of Automated Precision Manufacturing Technology for AMD.
At its peak, Fab 36 should be able to manufacture 100 million microprocessors annually, depending on the size and complexity of the devices, AMD has said previously. Fab 36s capacity is about double that of AMDs existing Fab 30, which sits next door in Dresden.