AMD to manufacture 40 nm CPUs at TSMC in 2009?

Logo AMDAs the announcement of AMD??™s split-up announcement is drawing closer, more puzzle pieces of what appears to be the big picture of the company??™s Asset Smart strategy are falling into place. One of our readers pointed us to a report from Taiwan, which suggests that manufacturing contractor TSMC has won at least certain key AMD foundry contracts for the time after the split-up. Apparently, CPUs are planned to be built using a half-node 40 nm production process.

Even if AMD splits into two entities - development and manufacturing ??“ it is clear that the separation of the two companies will take long and today??™s structures will remain in place for some time. AMD does not have the capacity to produce all of its chips by itself and is expected to maintain its foundry relations even if the New York fab is being built as planned.

One of the key manufacturers seems to be TSMC, which (just like UMC) has been contracted by AMD for non-SOI ???bulk??? chip production such as ATI??™s graphics chips, chipsets and handheld media processors in the past. However, TSMC became a strong member of the SOI industry when it became a founding member of the SOI Industry Consortium in October of 2007 and it appears that it has won SOI manufacturing contracts for AMD??™s next-generation processors. It was unclear whether Chartered, which has been producing SOI products for AMD for some time, received contracts as well.

AMD itself can produce SOI chips in Fab 38 (previously Fab 30) and Fab 36 in Dresden, Germany, at this time.

What is interesting is that today??™s news involves a 40 nm manufacturing process, which is rumored to be utilized by AMD not just for its next-generation graphics chips, but also for its 2009/2010 Fusion processor. Code-named Shrike, the first Fusion processor is expected to debut as a 40 nm (SOI) Phenom dual-core processor with an integrated (40 nm) RV800 graphics core. A quick transition to 32 nm is expected to happen in early 2010.

Meanwhile, AMD is preparing the launch of its first 45 nm processors. The quad-core Opteron ???Shanghai??? is in production now and will be available in server products in the fourth quarter of this year, according to AMD. Desktop processors usually follow 60-90 days after the introduction of the server CPUs, which means that a 45 nm Phenom should be expected to arrive in Q1 2009.

Source: TG Daily


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