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Processor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices said in an interview that it had started running test production in its Fab 36. Currently the company makes SRAM using 65nm process technology and 300mm wafers, but already in 2006 the firm is expected to launch its commercial processors made in the Fab 36.

“We are qualifying equipment as we speak. Fab 36 was designed to be a 65-nm from the start. We are making great strides with IBM and our SRAM yields are hitting all our milestones,” said AMD’s Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) director Tom Sonderman in an interview with EETimes web-site.

AMD completed the Fab 36 building in late 2004 and then started installation of the equipment. According to the original plan the company aimed to start qualifications of the factory in the late 1H 2005. AMD Fab 36 is expected to be in volume production in 2006.

“The whole idea is to begin to process 65-nm in the middle of 2005 and bring it into production in 2006. We're certainly on schedule,” Mr. Sonderman added.

The head of AMD’s APM group indicated that transition of Fab 30 to 90nm process technology proceeded as planned and by mid-year 100% of the company’s AMD64 processor production will be on 90nm process technology.

"One of the big advantages of our Automated Precision Manufacturing system is that we can take 90-nm on 200-mm data from Fab30, 65-nm on 300-mm data from East Fishkill and see the commonalities and apply them to Fab36,” the AMD official said.

Tom Sonderman added that AMD engineers are helping Singapore foundry Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing install the APM system in Chartered’s 300-mm wafer fab along with an AMD 90nm SOI process. The APM chief indicated that running 90nm circuits on 300mm wafers with Chartered would also help build up useful experience.

AMD Fab 36 is located near Dresden, Germany, adjacent to AMD's Fab 30.

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