AMD Opens World's Most Advanced Fab in Dresden
Fab 30 Frequently Asked Questions Fab 30 Dedication Ceremonies Speech
DRESDEN, GERMANY --
AMD today dedicated the world's most advanced wafer fabrication facility in Dresden, Germany. The grand opening of the company's Fab 30 marked the successful completion of a project which began with groundbreaking in October 1996. The state-of-the-art fab is being readied for volume production of leading-edge microprocessors for Microsoft Windows computing. Fab 30 activities are currently focused on characterization and qualification of the facility. The company expects to begin production of AMD Athlon™ processors featuring copper interconnect technology later in the current quarter with first revenue shipments planned for the second quarter of next year. Investment in Fab 30 will total $1.9 billion, approximately DM 3.2 billion. AMD's investment ranks as one of the largest foreign investments in East Germany.
Dedication ceremonies featured remarks from Saxony Governor Professor Kurt Biedenkopf and W.J. Sanders III, AMD chairman and chief executive officer.
"Today we are dedicating a magnificent new manufacturing facility, the first fab of the new millennium, and the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world," Sanders said. "Next year, we plan to be producing AMD Athlon processors capable of running at 1 gigahertz, or 1,000 megahertz, here in Dresden. Employing industry-leading copper interconnect technology and 180-nanometer design rules, the 1-gigahertz and faster AMD Athlon processor will continue AMD's leadership in PC processor performance."
Sanders noted that a pre-production version of the AMD Athlon processor built using the technology being installed in Dresden achieved speeds in excess of 900 megahertz.
James Doran, vice president and general manager of AMD Saxony Manufacturing GmbH, said, "Today's ceremonies represent the completion of the Fab 30 'start-up' phase. Our efforts are now focused on qualifying the fab for production of the AMD Athlon processor. We expect first revenue shipments from Dresden in the second quarter of next year."
Fab 30 will eventually be capable of producing 5,000 8-inch wafers per week. It is the first facility in Europe to employ copper technology in the manufacture of advanced processors. Approximately 950 employees have been hired by AMD Saxony to date. That number is expected to grow to approximately 1,800 over the next several years. Seventy-five percent of the current Dresden workforce was hired locally, and an additional 13 percent came from the New Federal States.
Sanders emphasized the importance of a qualified workforce and noted that people provide the competitive edge in the microelectronics industry. "It is easy to be caught up by the incredible complexity of a modern semiconductor manufacturing facility and, in the process, to overlook the role of people. No facility, no matter how grand and wondrous it may be, has utility or value without skilled and talented people to unleash its productive power," he said.
Sanders also noted the importance of the Dresden Design Center, which is part of the company's European microelectronics center. "To extend and build upon our processor leadership, we must provide a total solution," he said, "including the processor and the surrounding circuitry to complete the platform. This will be the challenge for the Dresden Design Center: developing the supporting circuitry to complete the platform as well as contributing to the development of future microprocessor products." The Dresden Design Center employs approximately 60 engineers.
About the AMD Athlon processor
The AMD Athlon processor is an x86-compatible, seventh-generation design featuring a superpipelined, nine-issue superscalar microarchitecture optimized for high clock frequency; the industry's first fully pipelined, superscalar floating point unit for x86 platforms; high-performance cache technology, including 128 KB of on-chip level-one(L1) cache and a programmable, high-performance backside L2 cache interface; enhanced 3DNow!™ technology with 24 new instructions designed to improve integer math calculations, data movement for Internet streaming, and DSP communications; and the AMD Athlon system bus - a 200MHz system interface based on the Alpha™ EV6 bus protocol with support for scalable multiprocessing. The AMD Athlon processors are manufactured in FAB 25 in Austin, Texas.
The AMD Athlon processor's seventh-generation microarchitecture, superscalar floating point engine, and high-bandwidth, 200MHz system bus enable it to achieve performance levels never before attained in an x86 processor. The AMD Athlon processor significantly outperforms previous-generation processors, such as Intel's Pentium III product family, and delivers the highest floating point, integer, and 3D multimedia performance for x86 system platforms.
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