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Intel Corp. said during the most recent conference call with financial analysts that it is on track to ship 100 million central processing units (CPUs) made using 45nm process technology this year. The world’s largest maker of x86 chips also indicated that the ramp of its 45nm fabrication process is better than that of previous-gen technologies.

“Our 45nm manufacturing process is performing superbly. We remain on track to ship over 100 million [CPU] units before the end of the year on this process technology. At this stage of our process ramp, yields and throughput times are better then at the same time on our 65-nanometer ramp,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., during a conference call with financial analysts.

One of the indisputable strong points of Intel Corp. is to rapidly transit to new process technologies, which allow to pack more transistor inside microprocessors to increase performance or just reduce the manufacturing costs of existing chips. The successful ramp of 45nm manufacturing process means that Intel effectively lowers its production costs and increases profitability while still being able to reduce prices on its products if the market conditions require that.

Besides, Intel said that the shipments crossover between chips made using 45nm and 65nm fabrication processes will occur sometimes in Q3 2008, which may indicate that the bulk of Intel’s shipments this year will still be made using 65nm manufacturing process.

“We will reach the 45nm shipment crossover point for microprocessors during this, the third quarter,” Mr. Otellini said.

At present Intel has two 300mm fabs that produce chips using 45nm process technology – D1D in Hillsboro, Oregon, and Fab 32 in Chandler, Arizona. Two additional 45nm, 300mm manufacturing factories are scheduled to open this year in Kiryat Gat, Israel (Fab 28) and Rio Rancho, New Mexico (Fab 11x).

Intel this week announced record second-quarter revenue of $9.5 billion, operating income of $2.3 billion, net income of $1.6 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of 28 cents.


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