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Advanced Micro Devices’ CEO Hector Ruiz said during the most recent financial quarter conference call that the transition of the company’s Fab 30 to 90nm SOI process technology manufacturing had been completed.

90nm Transition Complete, No More Socket A

“Our transition to 90nm is complete with world-class yields and continued capacity expansion to meet the growing demand for AMD products and solutions,” said AMD CEO Hector Ruiz.

AMD supplied first commercial 90nm microprocessor in early August, 2004, though, without any announcements, according to some reports. According to analysts, the company did not experience many issues related to defects with the transition to 90nm process technology. It took the company almost a year to fully transit its fab to a new fabrication process.

AMD produces its AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon 64 FX, AMD Opteron, AMD Turion 64 and AMD Sempron processors for desktop, server and mobile computers using 90nm Silicon-on-Insulator process technology. As a result of completed transition, AMD may soon offer AMD64-based Geode processors for embedded systems.

The announcement on the completion of 90nm transition means that all the processors the company is currently shipping is based on the AMD64 architecture known as Hammer, however, not all the chips are yet 64-bit, as numerous AMD Sempron processors have 64-bit capability disabled. The bottom line is that AMD no longer produce AMD Athlon XP and derivative Sempron processors designed for Socket A infrastructure.

Fab 36 On Track

“Fab 36 remains on schedule and on budget with production starts planned in the first quarter of 2006,” Mr. Ruiz added.

AMD’s yet-to-be-launched Fab 36 is planned to manufacture three generations of AMD processors, including 65nm, 45nm and 32nm chips. It usually takes about year for AMD to transit to a new manufacturing technology and then AMD makes chips using the technology for yet another year before the next-generation process technology begins to ramp. That said, AMD’s Fab 36 is likely to be AMD’s primary plant for processors for, at least, six years, or till 2012. It will take AMD about 2.5 years to build Fab 36.

The Fab 36, which recently started qualification manufacturing, will have initial capacity of 13 000 300mm wafers per month, but the building itself allows AMD to expand the foundry to produce up to 20 000 wafers per month. AMD is working with third-party chipmakers, primarily with Chartered Semiconductor, who use similar process technologies co-developed by IBM, to outsource part of microprocessor production to them.

Computing Computing Group Lifts Profitability, Memory Group Loses Revenue, Profits

AMD reported sales of $1.260 billion and net income of $11 million, amounting to $0.03 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 26, 2005. Second quarter gross margin was 39% compared to 34% in the first quarter of 2005. The improvement was largely due to record Computation Products Group (CPG) gross margins.

Record CPG sales of $767 million increased 38% from the second quarter of 2004 and increased two percent from $750 million in the first quarter of 2005. CPG generated record operating income of $110 million in the second quarter, up from $92 million in the first quarter of 2005.

Memory Products Group sales of $462 million decreased 31% from the second quarter of 2004 and increased three percent from $447 million in the first quarter or 2005. Memory Products Group incurred an operating loss of $90 million, as compared to an operating loss of $110 million in the first quarter of 2005.


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