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AMD said Monday it is on-track with building up the new chip making foundry in Dresden, Germany. The firm seems to have completed the building and is now starting to install the necessarily infrastructure for the company’s first 300mm facility.

European Leaders Welcome AMD's New Foundry

“Less than six months after we broke ground for AMD Fab 36, the first significant phase of our 300 mm wafer fab project has been completed successfully, and we are well on our way to meeting our overall project schedule,” said Hans Deppe, vice president and general manager for AMD Saxony.

“We have now begun to install the necessary infrastructure that will allow us to be ready for equipment towards the end of the year in preparation for our planned first production shipments in the first half of 2006,” Mr. Deppe explained.

The topping-off ceremony was attended by Germany’s Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der, Prof. Dr. Georg Milbradt, Minister President of the Free State of Saxony, Hector Ruiz, AMD’s CEO, as well as numerous other dignitaries representing European political, industry and banking interests.

Fab 36 - Another State-of-the-Art AMD's Fab?

AMD broke ground on its 300mm manufacturing facility on November 20, 2003. The new facility, named AMD Fab 36, is part of AMD Fab 36 LLC & Co. KG and is being built in Dresden, Germany, adjacent to AMD Fab 30.

The Fab36 will cost about $2.4 billion in total. AMD gets $1.5 billion as help, which is $500 million as subsidies, grants, etc, $700 million is a loan and remaining $300 as an equity from 2 partners - Saxony and some European investors. The rest $900 million are expected to come from AMD itself.

AMD projects the building to be completed in late 2004. The company will start the installation of equipment just before the end of 2004 and plans to start qualifications of the factory in the late 1H 2005. AMD Fab 36 is expected to be in volume production in 2006. The new facility will employ roughly 1000 people.

The Fab 36, as expected, will manufacture chips in 300mm wafers using 65nm technology process. This will allow AMD to cost-effectively make its MPUs and this seems to be the company’s primary goal for the new foundry. Even though there is 20% to 30% gap between the costs of manufacturing using 200mm wafers and 300mm wafers as well as shrink of fabrication technology to 65nm process also provides some cost benefits, CPUs also get more and more complex, as a result, there are no breakthroughs in margins or costs expected by the company’s management.

The initial capacity of the fab is 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’s Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany was named “Fab of the Year” by industry publication Semiconductor International. In choosing the recipient of the award, Semiconductor International took into consideration overall manufacturing excellence as well as the speed with which new processes were ramped and new process technologies were adopted. It was the tenth time that the magazine has bestowed this award, and it is the third time that an AMD facility claimed the title.


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