MUNICH, Germany Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has begun using a 90-nanometer silicon-on-insulator (SOI) manufacturing process at its Fab30 in Dresden, Germany, according to Thomas Sunderman, a director of manufacturing technology within AMD's corporate manufacturing group.
AMD expects commercial shipments of products made using the 90-nm process to begin in the third quarter, Sonderman said.
The move saves about 40 percent of the die area compared with the established 130-nm process, and should have a similar impact on AMD's costs until the company introduces 300-mm wafer processing, which is expected in early 2006.
The 90-nm AMD64 is in active pilot mode in Fab 30 and prototype parts are running in systems, Sonderman said. Sonderman added that strained-silicon would be introduced by AMD in the future.
Although details about the first product to migrate to the 90-nm process were not disclosed, a presentation by Sonderman given the day before the Semicon Europa exhibition here referred to the AMD64 family of Opteron and Athlon chips and the AMD 64-bit Opteron processor in particular. "There are no plans to migrate the classic Athlon to 90 nm," Sonderman confirmed.
Sonderman said the 90-nm process would be phased in with all the advanced features acquired during previous generations, including copper interconnect, a Black Diamond low-k technology and as an SOI process with the base wafers provided by Soitec SA.
The combination provides a "significant power saving," Sonderman said, adding that details would be revealed when AMD announces 90-nm products.