Advanced Micro Devices plans to tie up transition to a new process technology and to a new memory type, according to documents seen by X-bit labs. While the move has its own logical explanations, back in the past the company did not risk to execute a similar plan.
AMD’s microprocessors produced using 45nm process technology code-named Deneb, Prophus and Sargas, due to be out in the second half of 2008, will be AMD’s first processors to support DDR3 memory and coming in AM3 form-factor. As a result, the new processors will symbolize three important transitions for the world’s second largest maker of x86 chips: transition to 45nm fabrication process, transition to AM3 infrastructure and transition to DDR3 memory.
Currently it is unclear which DDR3 speed-bins AMD plans to support, as the company aims at PC2-8500 (DDR2 1066MHz) standard now, as its arch-rival Intel readies chipsets with PC3-10600 (DDR3 1333MHz) support for introduction later during the year.
When the company was going to start transiting to new form-factors in 2006, it revealed to its partners about a year before that that the first chips in AM2 form-factor supporting DDR2 memory would be made using proven 90nm process technology. Separately, AMD said that the first 65nm processors will emerge in the second half of the year 2006.
Even though some observers expected AMD to align transitions to AM2, DDR2 and 65nm, AMD migrated its chips to a new infrastructure first and then started to transit production to the new process technology. The Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker planned to start using 65nm process technology at its Fab 36 in parallel with ramping up chips in AM2 form-factor at its Fab 30, but in mid-October 2005 it changed its intention and said it would produce 90nm chips at the new fab with the aim to transit it to 65nm later on.
Even though it is unknown why AMD decided to lined up several important product transitions, it is logical to assume that the firm believes that migration to 45nm process technology will be easier compared to the previous one, as the firm does not have to set up a brand new fab and a totally new equipment.
AMD officials did not comment on the news-story.