AMD plans third fab

AMD plans third fab

Semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is planning to add a third chip fabrication facility, most likely to process chips out of 300-millimetre diameter wafers.

"There will be a Fab 35, and it will most likely be 300 millimetre. We have not specified where and in what technology, or any of the other interesting details," European marketing director Robert Stead said Tuesday.

He said he could not immediately confirm reports that AMD plans to share the costs of the fab with another chip maker.

Stead said the company is following a move in the industry toward the larger wafers, away from the 200-millimetre wafers in common use.

"The basic economics of the semiconductor industry are down to the number of good (silicon) die you can generate per wafer -- the bigger the wafer or the smaller the die, the more you get."

Competitor Intel announced last month it is delaying the opening of a new fab in Ireland until the second half of 2002, in part to implement the new 300-millimetre technology.

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