Chartered to start making AMD processors in mid-2006

Chartered to start making AMD processors in mid-2006

Contract chip maker Chartered Semiconductor will begin producing 64-bit microprocessors for AMD late in the second quarter of 2006.

Singaporean contract chip maker, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, will begin producing 64-bit microprocessors for Advanced Micro Devices late in the second quarter of 2006, according to a spokesperson.

"We announced the plan last year, but it is on schedule for the second quarter," a spokeswoman for Chartered, Maggie Tan, said.

AMD signed a deal late last year to farm out the production of some processors, such as the AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, to Chartered sometime in 2006.

The start of the deal in mid-2006 indicates that AMD processors are competing well in global markets and its technology rollout has gone largely as planned, a rarity in the chip industry since a number of factors can sabotage product ramp up plans, such as market downturns, stiff competition with rivals, production troubles, chip design tweaks and a lack of supporting components.

For end users, it means more availability of AMD 64-bit products at a faster pace, and could help stave off any potential shortages.

AMD's other chip production partner is IBM, which has a technology development and licensing deal with Chartered.

Tan also said Chartered was in discussions with partners about plans to invest in China, but nothing solid had been determined.

The world's fourth largest contract chip maker by revenue projects it would spend $US750 million on new production line equipment this year, but it did not yet have a forecast for 2006 capital spending, Tan said.

Chartered last week announced its third quarter financial results. The company turned to a loss of $US34.5 million for the three months ended September 30, from a $US16.2 million net profit during the third quarter last year. Its revenue rose 13 per cent compared to the same time last year to $US290.1 million.

The company forecast it will turn a net profit of around $US10 million in the fourth quarter, as it raises prices for its manufacturing services.

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