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.

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