A little under 6 months ago AMD introduced their first 300mm 90nm manufacturing facility, called Fab 36.  The name of course comes from its existence 36 years after the founding of AMD, with the plant itself being located next to Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany. 

The grand opening of Fab 36 was mostly for media attention as the plant would not begin shipping revenue parts until Q1 of 2006.  That sometime is today as AMD has just announced that Fab 36 is finally shipping revenue parts.  The parts that it is shipping are 90nm Athlon 64 and Sempron CPUs, so Opterons and Athlon 64 X2s will still come out of Fab 30 next door.  AMD cites customer demand as the reason that Athlon 64 and Sempron are first out of the new fab, which honestly makes sense; there's always need for more capacity at the lower end. 

 

Although both Fab 30 and Fab 36 produce 90nm processors, Fab 30 uses smaller 200mm wafers while Fab 36 features an upgrade to 300mm wafers.  AMD says that yields on 300mm wafers coming out of Fab 36 are comparable to 200mm yields being produced at Fab 30. 

A 300mm 90nm wafer from Fab 36 

In terms of capacity, by 2008 AMD plans to be able to crank out 20,000 (300mm) wafers per month out of Fab 36 which would double its microprocessor production capacity to approximately 100M CPUs per year (thanks to larger wafers and smaller transistors).  For comparison, Fab 30 currently produces 30,000 (200mm) wafers per month. Unfortunately AMD was unable to provide us with any sort of guidance as to how quickly Fab 36 will ramp up to its 20K per month target. AMD's partnership with Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. out of Singapore will guarantee additional 90nm production capacity beginning in the second half of this year.  By the end of this year, AMD's capacity will have increased tremendously over the single fab they had producing 90nm parts previously. 

As we mentioned in our initial coverage of Fab 36's grand opening, all parts shipping out of the plant will be 90nm, with AMD converting to 65nm starting in the second half of this year.  Fab 36 will be "substantially converted" to 65nm manufacturing by the middle of 2007.  Once again, AMD wasn't able to provide us with any sort of concrete details about the ramp to 65nm. It could very well be that AMD will be shipping lots of revenue generating 65nm parts by the end of this year, or they could be shipping very little. If the latter is true, then AMD's real transition to 65nm won't occur until far into 2007. When it does happen however, the move to 65nm will bring about smaller die sizes, faster switching transistors and lower power consumption for AMD, just as it has for Intel.  AMD's 65nm process will incorporate their third generation of SOI technology to further reduce power consumption.  AMD is promising a 40% increase in transistor performance with the move to 65nm thanks to the smaller process and the third generation SOI technology.


Fab 36 in Action

45nm and Socket-AM2
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  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - link

    Which isn't surprising exact yield information is cirtical information to Intel and AMD. Hence they are careful to be very vague on the issue. Reply
  • rqle - Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - link

    any update to the The AM2 Story blog. would like to know where the performance level of am2 chipset w/ ddr2, hope for major in improvement over what you said in that blog. Reply
  • mesyn191 - Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - link

    He stated pretty clearly they're getting a approx. 5% performance increase at the same clock bd AM2 A64's, and that there may be other improvements as well. Reply
  • defter - Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - link

    quote:

    He stated pretty clearly they're getting a approx. 5% performance increase at the same clock


    He stated clearly that performance increase is 5% or LOWER using DDR2-800. This would indicate about 2-3% performance increase on average using DDR2-800 and 0-1% increase using DDR2-667.
    Reply
  • Ecmaster76 - Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - link

    "The parts that it is shipping are 90nm Athlon 64 and Sempron CPUs, so Opterons and Athlon 64 X2s will still come out of Fab 30 next door."

    Read: FAB 30 is handling the expensive/complex bins; FAB 36 is doing the cheap n easy parts while yields are being improved.

    "AMD cites customer demand as the reason that Athlon 64 and Sempron are first out of the new fab, which honestly makes sense; there's always need for more capacity at the lower end."

    Read:All the chips they can make are being sold as Opterons 'cause thats where the margins are. As a result the demand for cheap chips is being ignored. Therefore, more capacity == $$$$ (bank baby!)

    (long live 939!)
    Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - link

    AMD sells what market needs. Their purpose is to sell all the processors they can produce at the highest price they can. If they increase price, the market will buy less, and if that leaves them with warehouse surplus they are losing.
    They might "force" on the market the perception that the Opteron 939 chips are better than the Athlons64, as selling them is better overall (more $$$ for AMD)
    Reply
  • fikimiki - Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - link

    Because FAB30 is ramping 30,000 wspm and FAB36 is ramping up to 17,000wspm by the end of 2006. FAB36 wafers are LARGER (300mm) and Chatered Corp. will be doing 5000 wspm for AMD - this means ~2x more CPUs by the end of 2006.

    40% better transistor performance at 65nm means 3,8-4GHz CPU. How about that? :)
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - link

    The only true part here is that AMD's Fab 30 is having 30K WSPM on 200mm Wafers.

    AMDs Fab 36 is going to ramp up to 20K WSPM by 2008 on 300mm Wafers. That part is true. No idea where you pulled 17k WSPM by end of 2006 from.

    40% Better transistor performance doesn't equal a 40% increase in clock frequency, that is flat out absurd.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - link

    1. Chartered is at 2000wspm on 300mm and 50%+ yields on AMD processors by July.
    http://www.fabtech.org/index.php?option=content&am...">Fabtech article Since that is 300mm, it is equivalent to 4000wspm on 200mm. Chartered is expected to be at 18,000wspm by years end.
    http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/9688">Techreport
    2. Fab 30 is at 30,000wspm on 200mm and yields in the 60-80% range (rumour and based on statements in conference calls).
    3. Fab 36 is estimated to be at 26,000wspm by years end on 300mm (which is = 52,000wspm on 200mm). Even if they hit only HALF that number, that's still more than double last year's production for AMD by this year's end...
    Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - link

    Dude, you said three posts up that there aren't any estimates for production at fab 36, and here you said there are.

    Make up your mind.
    Reply

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