SAN JOSE, Calif. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has updated its aggressive process technology roadmap, although the company remains slightly behind microprocessor rival Intel Corp.
Despite trailing a bit on the technology curve, AMD (Sunnyvale, Calif.) continues to gain market share at the expense of Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.). For example, AMD recently grabbed a major design win at Dell Computer Inc., Intel’s largest processor customer.
And during a Webcast on Thursday (June 1), AMD wasted no time and took various pot shots at Intel’s business practices and product lines. Hector Ruiz, chairman and chief executive of AMD, slammed Intel, saying that the PC industry must break away from what he calls Intel’s "illegal, monopolist" tactics.
"We must break free," Ruiz declared.
“There is a lot of news in the media that Intel has caught up to AMD,” added Marty Seyer, corporate vice president of AMD’s Commercial Business and Performance Computing and Microprocessor Solutions Sector. “We will continue to have the leadership crown in wattage performance.”
Intel’s next-generation server processor, dubbed Woodcrest, consumes some 466 Watts, Seyer said. In comparison, AMD’s rival chip, dubbed Santa Rosa, consumes 365 Watts or 28 percent less, he claimed.
The comparison was not just with the Woodcrest and Santa Rosa processors, but with all of the basic chips, including the chipset, memory controller and even the memory DIMMs, it was noted.
To keep up with Intel, AMD is moving full speed ahead on the technology front. The company said Monday (May 30) it will invest $2.5 billion in its fabs in Germany, adding a new 300-mm fab to replace an existing 200-mm facility that will be closed. AMD said the expansion will quadruple its processor production here within the next 30 months.
AMD is also receiving help from Singaporean foundry provider Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. AMD claimed that Chartered is currently ramping up AMD’s 90-nm processor lines about six month ahead of schedule. Chartered is also slated to make AMD’s 65-nm processor lines on a foundry basis by mid-2007, according to AMD.
AMD executives also claimed that its own fabs have been producing microprocessors based on its 90-nm process since the second quarter of 2006. For some time, the chip maker has been developing its process technology in conjunction with IBM Corp.’s Microelectronics Group.
AMD also claims that its 65-nm process is on track. It hopes to manufacturer products in volume based on its 65-nm process by the fourth quarter of 2006, executives said.
Like its 90-nm process, AMD’s 65-nm technology will make use of copper interconnects, low-k dielectrics, silicon germanium and silicon-on-insulator technologies.
AMD also hopes to move to 45 nm by mid-2008. The company dropped hints that it will employ 193-nm immersion lithography scanners at the 45-nm node, but it did not elaborate. And it hopes to move to 32 nm by early 2010, executives said.
On the 45 nm front, however, AMD remains slightly behind Intel on the process front. In January Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) disclosed the initial details of its 45-nm process and claimed that it had produced the world’s first chips based on the technology. Intel claims that it will be in mass production at 45 nm in the second half of 2007.