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http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...-strategy.html

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AMD's Analyst Day presentation went into some detail on the company's much-discussed "asset light" strategy. By purchasing ATI, AMD has taken an interest in multiple new product markets, which also partly explains Sunnyvale's increased interest in the low-wattage embedded market. Asset Light is the term AMD is using to refer to the ongoing incorporation of AMD and ATI interests and resources, the optimization of those resources, and the utilization of existing assets to their fullest extent. One rumor AMD firmly denied yet again is that the manufacturer has plans to move towards a fabless manufacturing model.

AMD then took time to highlight the specific ventures it is undertaking with partners such as IBM, Chartered, and TSMC, as well as detailing the current performance of Fab 30 and Fab 36. Chartered is currently used for some of AMD's 90nm production and will transition to 65nm in the second half of 2007 while TSMC is producing AMD's graphics, chipset, and SoC initiatives. TSMC yields are apparently quite good, and the company plans to extend 65nm production in 2007 with additional plans to move to a "half node" 55nm production in the fourth quarter of 2007. AMD did not specifically state which products would be produced on 55nm, however.



Much of the remainder of this part of the presentation was focused on AMD's manufacturing efficiency. Fab 30 is currently producing at 150 percent of the fab's original capacity and is ramping down 200mm wafer production during the second half of 2007 in order to begin 300mm wafer starts. Fab 36, meanwhile, is fully converted to 65nm today with 45nm running in pilot production. The major point AMD hammered home here is that the company is apparently running at peak efficiency, particularly when compared to historical past performance. AMD specifically stated that production is ramping for successful delivery of Barcelona in the third quarter of 2007.



Overall, AMD's presentation on "Asset Light" was more detailed when it came to talking up AMD's manufacturing efficiency than on actually sharing details on how the company plans to utilize TSMC, Chartered, and IBM fabrication. AMD has yet to publicize any plans to divest itself from any manufacturing assets, which implies that asset light may refer to using other firms to do additional heavy lifting in order to increase CPU/GPU production volume. If AMD's plans in the embedded sector pan out, the company may see increased demand in markets where it's traditionally been a niche player. Rather than attempt to roll such production into current fabs or accelerate new fab production, AMD will apparently rely on its partners to pick up the slack.
Glad to hear they're trying to get things together. Check out the last slide - their 45nm immersion lithography is supposedly online already!
    
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