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A German news-paper reported that Advanced Micro Devices is planning to build yet another fab in Germany. This would be the third plant for the chipmaker in Saxony, if the report turns out to be correct.

AMD CEO Hector Ruiz reportedly told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that a final decision on where to construct the fab would come “before next summer” at the latest, claims Forbes. A spokesman for the Saxony state government, so they say, indicated that the third wafer fabrication plant of AMD in Germany will also be located in Dresden, where Fab 30 and Fab 36 are built.

While the plans to build a yet another fab seem to be long-term, they still may indicate that AMD is serious about expansion of its manufacturing capacities. This complements AMD’s aggressive plans to have 33% market share “in two or three years” from now and even more ambitions claim about 50% share by 2015. In Q1 2005 Sunnyvale, California-based AMD supplied 16.9% of processors.

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.

AMD has created over 7000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, in the state of Saxony since 1996.


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