AMD to Test 90nm Microprocessor Production in April
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Robert Rivet for Advanced Micro Devices presented at the Morgan Stanley Semiconductor and Systems Conference on Monday to tell the analysts about updates in the company’s microprocessor and flash businesses.
The AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron ramp seems to be doing pretty well, as the company is on-track with meeting it shipments targets of 64-bit chips this quarter, which is about 1 million Athlon 64 units. While the bulk of revenue in Q4 2003 and Q1 2004 still comes from the Athlon XP family sales, the Sunnyvale, California-based microprocessor manufacturer is looking forward the AMD64 and Athlon XP “unit crossover” to happen sometimes in the fourth quarter of the year.
In an attempt to gradually improve its average selling prices (ASPs) as well as “dollar share” in CPU market, Advanced Micro Devices is looking very thoroughly into the server and mobile markets. One of the firm’s main intentions is to be presented more widely in various types of servers – from blade servers to high-end enterprise machines. Still, presently the largest footprint of AMD is in the desktop market.
The world’s second largest microprocessor maker is also on track with its transition to 90nm process technology, according to Robert Rivet. The first production silicon will be made in AMD’s Fab30 in Dresden, Germany, in around 5 weeks, sometime in April. Actual commercial production of AMD’s 90nm processors will start in July with availability of the actual products in “September-October-November” timeframe. AMD’s 90nm Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) fabrication process is now “nearly fully qualified”, stated AMD’s Chief Financial Officer.
Robert Rivet said nothing about architectural changes for the Athlon 64 and Opteron processors at 90nm process technology, except that the die size for the next-gen Athlon 64 will be “sub-100 square millimeters”; not more than 102 square millimeters, which is a little bit smaller compared to arch-rival Intel’s Pentium 4 “Prescott” die size of 112 square millimeters.
Quite natural capabilities of future-generations Athlon 64 and Opteron microprocessors could be SSE3 technology, improved pre-fetch mechanisms, DDR-II memory support as well as thermal throttling. Technology execs from AMD recently confirmed innovations with exception of DDR-II SDRAM, which is also rumoured to be added into future Opteron CPUs.
AMD and Spansion are doing exceptionally well in the flash business now and will continue to innovate in future, Rivet said.
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