SAN FRANCISCO -- During a technology conference sponsored by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. here today, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. announced plans to accelerate the deployment of its 130-nm (0.13-micron) technology by one quarter.
The move will help pave the way for its next-generation chips in marketplace, including its Hammer family of 32/64-bit microprocessor lines, said W.J. Sanders, chairman of AMD, in a presentation at the conference.
AMD is accelerating the development of its 130-nm technology, reportedly to dispel rumors that it is having trouble ramping up its chips, based on this complex process, analysts said. It is also hoping to keep up with its rival in the microprocessor space--Intel Corp., which began shipping its 130-nm processors and other IC lines late last year, according to analysts.
Originally, AMD planned to move its entire line of microprocessors on the 130-nm technology node by the fourth quarter of 2002.
Now, the Sunnyvale-based company hopes to convert its processor products to 130-nm by the third quarter of this year, Sanders said. "This is a quarter ahead of our previous schedule," Sanders said during the conference.
The AMD executive also said that the company's 130-nm process is healthy, enabling it to accelerate the development of its chip designs.
Last week, Intel dropped hints that AMD's 130-nm chip yields are somewhat suspect (see April 26 story ). During a question and answer session today, the flamboyant executive from AMD dismissed those accusations--in a rather blunt manner. "How do you spell bullshit?" reponded the AMD executive. "We would put our yields against their yields," he added, referring to Intel of Santa Clara, Calif.
Recently, AMD announced its first 130-nm chips--a line of microprocessors for notebook PCs and related products. The company's 130-nm mobile chips, which are still called Athlon, are based on its so-called "Thoroughbred" core (see April 16 story ).
Its 130-nm technology will also form the basis of its first 32/64-bit Hammer processors. Earlier this year, AMD demonstrated the Hammer, which is geared to run both 32- and 64-bit software (see Feb. 26 story ).
By year's end, AMD will begin delivering its code-named "ClawHammer" product--a 130-nm, 32/64-bit processors for desktops and servers. The "ClawHammer" products will use the company's existing Athlon brand name when they hit the market.
The company is also sampling its high-end Hammer product--dubbed "SledgeHammer," which is also based on 130-nm technology. Last week, AMD renamed the "SledgeHammer" product, which will be known in the marketplace as Opteron. It also announced a major alliance with Microsoft Inc. in the 32/64-bit processor space (see April 24 story ).
"We are sampling Opteron now," Sanders said. The company remains on track to ship products based on its 90-nm (0.09-micron) process by the third quarter of 2003, Sanders said.