Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Advanced Micro Devices to Start New Process Technology Ramp in Q1 2008

Advanced Micro Devices said in its most recent call with financial analysts that despite of relatively slow ramp of its quad-core microprocessors the chipmaker does not expect any issues to occur with the ramp up of its 45nm production technology.

“We’re looking forward to ramping 45nm product production in the first half of next year,” said Dirk Meyer, president and chief operating officer of AMD.

Earlier it was reported that AMD’s microprocessors produced using 45nm process technology code-named Deneb, Propus and Sargas are due to be out in the second half of 2008. However, the most recent roadmap of AMD indicate that the company does not have any plans to produce single-core Sargas processors using 45nm technology process at all and while quad-core Deneb and Propus are still due in the second half of 2008, lower-cost chips with three and two processing engines, code-named Hexa and Regor respectively, are now planned for introduction in the first half of 2009. Such changes in the timing for affordable processors might by an indicator that AMD’s first 45nm chips will come very late in 2008 and will be available mostly in 2009. However, AMD executives seem t be optimistic about 45nm process tech.

“First, we are on track relative to having basic yields in place in our factories on material that we’re running today. We’re building 45nm microprocessors as we speak and those two facts give us increasing confidence in the public statements we’ve been making for some time around our intent to be starting our production ramp of 45nm processors in the first half of next year,” Mr. Meyer said.

The new desktop 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. Server processors will continue to support registered DDR2 memory for compatibility reasons.

Even though typically thinner process technologies offer lower power consumption than previous-gen chips, AMD fist plans to transit its desktop and sever chips to 45nm process technology. Perhaps, to rapidly increase their clock-speeds and cache sizes in order to better compete against Intel Corp.’s offergins.

“Roughly speaking, server and desktop will be the first to benefit,” AMD’s president announced.

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