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AMD to invest $2.5B in new Dresden fab

Posted: 31 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fab? Dresden? AMD? Christoph Hammerschmidt?

Advanced Micro Devices said it will invest $2.5 billion in its Dresden, Germany fabs, adding a new 300mm fab to replace an existing 200mm facility that will be closed.

AMD said the expansion will quadruple its processor production here within the next 30 months.

Construction of the new Fab 38 will not require an entirely new factory. Instead, AMD plans a thorough transformation of Fab 30. As part of a three-year investment plan, the company also plans to erect a new cleanroom building for wafer bumping and testing. At the same time, the company will increase the capacity of existing 300mm fab 36 by 25 percent to 25,000 monthly wafer starts. Fab 36 was launched in October 2005.

AMD said it has already broken ground for its new cleanroom building. Construction work for Fab 38 will start when Fab 30 ends production in the second half of 2007. By the end of next year, the new facility will produce 20,000 wafer starts a month at full capacity.

Combined, AMD's Dresden fabs will produce 45,000 wafers a month. According to plans announced, the new fabs initially will produce 65nm chips, but AMD will switch to 45nm process technology by mid-2008 and eventually move to 32nm. By using 65nm process technology on 300mm wafers, AMD can produce about twice as many processors per wafer, said Hans Deppe, AMD's corporate vice president there.

The shift to 300mm wafers also means fewer new jobs. AMD said the expansion will add only about 15 percent more jobs on top of the existing 2,800 jobs here, Deppe said. "This approach guarantees the quickest and most efficient way to increase our manufacturing capacity."

AMD will also expand its relationship with Singapore foundry Chartered Semiconductor to handle demand spikes.

The lion's share of the $2.5 billion investment will be spent on equipping Fab 38. For lithography alone, Deppe said AMD plans to buy 12 systems at about $31.9 million each. He declined to elaborate.

Ending intense speculation, Deppe added, "For the foreseeable future, the Dresden fabs should have enough capacity for the company's needs. But in the more distant future, it might well be possible that we need to expand our facilities again."

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Germany

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