SUNNYVALE, Calif. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has completed the wafer qualification process, including copper deposition, at its new 8-inch fabrication facility in Dresden, Germany.
AMD used a standard K6 microprocessor with 0.25-micron design rules as the test wafer to verify that the production line at its Fab 30 is meeting target specifications, an AMD spokesman said. The next step is to qualify the line on 0.18-micron design rules using the new Athlon processor as a test wafer.
The Dresden fab is on schedule to start production of the Athlon using copper processing early in 2000, the spokesman said.
The new fab garnered further attention this week amid reports that AMD might consider adding a joint venture partner to help defray costs and utilize capacity at the facility. The AMD spokesman said the company has no plans at the moment to bring in a partner.
But AMD might be interested in a partner if it ends up with excess capacity in Dresden, he said. Some sources indicated that overcapacity is a looming issue at the fab, particularly because as K6 production phases down at AMD's plant in Austin, Texas, the company is expected to begin manufacturing Athlon chips at that site.
Meanwhile, James Doran has been named vice president and general manager of AMD Saxony Manufacturing GmbH, the subsidiary operating the Dresden fab. Doran was formerly vice president of AMD's Austin fab and submicron development center.
He succeeds Jack Saltich, who resigned to become president and chief executive of Three-Five Systems Inc. (Tempe, Ariz.), a flat-panel display manufacturer. Saltich succeeds David Buchanan, who has retired after 17 years with Three-Five.