Process yield problems are to blame for a slight delay in new microprocessor shipments from AMD, using GlobalFoundries 32nm process, according to Dirk Meyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMD. In a conference call with financial analysts to discuss second quarter results, 32nm devices would start shipping and generating revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010, not in the third quarter as previously guided. The yields were not where they expected them to be in the quarter and meant they were unable to ramp production as planned.
Although exact details of the yield issues were not disclosed, executives reiterated that they were confident that improvements in the yield curve were ongoing and noted that the shift to 32nm was a very difficult transition.
AMD is continuing to use an SOI substrate but with High-k/Metal Gate for the first time.
“However, in reaction to Ontario’s market opportunities and a slower than anticipated progress of 32nm yield curve, we are switching the timing of the Ontario and Llano production ramps, noted Meyer in the call. “Llano production shipments are still expected to occur in the first half of next year. In the second quarter this year we also taped out the first 32nm product based on our new high performance Bulldozer CPU core.
AMD also noted that utilization rates at GlobalFoundries were increasing after a slow start to the year and would continue to improve in the third quarter, suggesting process yield tweaks were working as 32nm products begin sustained ramping.