RealTime IT News

AMD, Fujitsu Fab Shifts to Memory

AMD has decided to cease production on its logic chips in favor of its memory processors, the company said Tuesday.

The chipmaker said its Fab 25 facility will now be dedicated to producing, in partnership with Fujitsu, megabit and 128-megabit Spansion Flash memory devices using 110nm floating gate technology for wireless and other markets.

The shift highlights a trend in the semiconductor industry to remain flexible at the production level. The latest stats from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) suggest worldwide sales rose to their slimmest growth margins for nearly a year. The situation could have been worse had it not been for producers and customers adjusting to early reports of excess inventory in the channel.

A survey this summer by Monterey, Calif.-based Web-Feet Research estimates 2004 through 2006 will be excellent growth years for both Flash memory and DRAM manufacturers. Compared with the lackluster sales of 2003, Web-Feet estimates growth rates this year of 209 percent, 191 percent in 2005 and 150 percent in 2006.

The change also mirrors similar efforts by Intel and National Semiconductor , which are also in the process of using a more fabless model with contract manufacturing and ODMs, according to the latest issue of the "Denali Memory Report."

AMD said its success lies with its Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) technology. The platform consists of 300 real-time data analysis technologies. APM was first developed at Fab 25 and used later in AMD's factories in Dresden, Germany, Fab 30 and the upcoming 300mm Fab 36.

Since AMD and Fujitsu began their Spansion initiative, the partnership has focused on Flash memory for wireless, cellular, automotive, networking, telecommunications and consumer electronics markets. There are a variety of Spansion Flash memory products, such as devices based on MirrorBit technology; the simultaneous read-write (SRW) product family; super low-voltage 1.8-volt Flash memory devices; and burst- and page-mode devices.