Online information source for semiconductor professionals

AMD 45nm ramp revisited

22 October 2007 | By Mark Osborne | Editor's Blog

Popular articles

New Product: Applied Materials new EUV reticle etch system provides nanometer-level accuracy - 19 September 2011

Oberai discusses Magma’s move into solar PV yield management space - 29 August 2008

‚??Velocity‚?? the new buzzword in Intel‚??s PQS annual awards - 12 April 2012

Applied Materials adds Jim Rogers to Board of Directors - 29 April 2008

New Product: ASML Brion‚??s Tachyon MB-SRAF enables OPC-like compute times - 19 September 2011

News from last week’s AMD conference call that told us the company would start production of 45nm microprocessors in the first half of 2008 shouldn’t be looked at from the point of view of ‘volume production.’ The message that should be taken from the news is that at some time in the first six months of next year, AMD may well have a small amount of devices entering the supply-chain. 

AMD had said that we should see 45nm chips ‘mid-year,’ which could easily have applied to the time period from June through September based on Barcelona schedules!

A key aspect for AMD’s coming out with this revised 45nm schedule could be that yields have been good, prompting an earlier-than-expected launch date. AMD has one big advantage over Intel at the 45nm node, namely the ability to push out the adoption of high-k dielectrics and metal gates until the 32nm node due to the use of SOI wafers.

Process tweaks will still be required especially in post-immersion litho processing.  So too will strain engineering, which is still controlling gate leakage levels without the benefit of high-k.

In many respects we regard the 65nm to 45nm migration by AMD as more of a litho-friendly design shrink than a fundamental process switch compared to that of Intel’s migration.

Over the next several quarters we are anticipating that AMD will ramp Fab 36 to full capacity with the vast majority of production at the 65nm node. The 45nm migration should start ‘mid-year,’ but with new immersion tools required, both qualified and ramped, we would still expect ‘volume production’ to be in 2009, not 2008, with a significant amount of Fab 36 production switched to 45nm by 2Q09.

Two key aspects that could see the 45nm ‘volume ramp’ coming earlier are the facts that 45nm yields are above expectations, and also that immersion litho tool orders are placed early enough in that yield target achievement for the tools to be delivered and qualified to enable the ramp.

Currently, immersion tool delivery times are long and are close to 10 months or more depending on NA spec. AMD may go ‘blind’ and order the tools now so that a ‘volume’ ramp could happen in the second half of the year. We haven’t as yet picked up on that actually happening, but it is possible!

Related articles

AMD says 45nm quad-cores out of Fab 36 with aggressive ramp in 2H08 - 17 January 2008

AMD‚??s 45nm volume ramp could be a 2009 affair - 17 October 2007

Update: Every blog has its erroneous day thanks to AMD - 20 July 2009

Spansion hits 25,000 wafer starts per quarter milestone at SP1 - 06 March 2008

Tool Order: Ultratech wins volume ramp order for laser spike anneal - 22 October 2010

Reader comments

No comments yet!

Post your comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below: