AMD Boosts Manufacturing Capacities
While currently AMD enjoys being only a maker of microprocessors, the company plans to rapidly increase its manufacturing capabilities.
By 2010 the Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker will have three foundries producing chips on 300mm wafers with total output up to 67 500 wafers per month. Considering that 300mm wafers are 2.25 times larger compared to 200mm ones produced today at Fab 30 (30 thousand per month), by 2010 AMD’s manufacturing capacities will be about five times higher compared to today’s levels. According to IDC, in 2006 there will be 230.2 million computers sold, while in 2010 – the shipments will reach 333.7 million, about 45% more compared to today. At the same time, it is hard to believe that AMD will have five-fold increase of processors shipments by that time: either AMD maintains its current market share and the computer market grows five times (not 1.5 times anticipated by IDC), or AMD starts to rapidly gain presence in the market of microprocessors (all the way to about 75% by late 2010).
It is a known fact that modern foundries should be loaded nearly fully to stay profitable. Therefore, increasing capacities very rapidly either means that the firm plans to wipe-out Intel out of the CPU business in several years, or follow the strategy outlined by Jerry Sanders several years ago and sell “computing platforms”, something, which would allow the firm to sell more chips in general and load the fabs to the maximum level in particular.