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300mm AMD Fab 36 officially: financing, partners, plans...

The place for the new AMD fab has been finally selected. Yesterday evening the company officially laid the first foundation stone of AMD Fab 36 that will be designed for making <65nm chips from 300mm wafers.

AMD Fab 36 will be constructed in Dresden, Saxony countryside as a part of AMD Dresden Fab 36 LLC & Co. KG. Its production lines will be located nearby operating AMD Fab 30.

A model of the future 300mm AMD Fab36, west side

A model of the future 300mm AMD Fab36, east side

AMD Fab 36 is expected to produce cips in volumes in 2006. It will host about 1000 workers, mostly expert engineers.

AMD Fab 36 will be equipped with all the latest technologies. In particular, its produciton lines will feature AMD´s patented Automated Precision Manufacturing, APM 3.0 Achieving full capacity in 2006 the fab is expected to produce 13 thousands 300mm wafers monthly. Later the yield is to grow up to 20 thousands wafers per month.

The capital expenditures are estimated $2.4 billion with $1.5 biliion external financing. According to the press release, the external financing is expected to include up to approximately $700 million in loans from a consortium of banks, including an 80 percent residual guarantee from Germany and Saxony, approximately $500 million in anticipated grants and allowances from the Germany and Saxonian governments (pending European Union Commission approval), and up to approximately $320 million in equity funding from Saxony and a group of European investors led by M+W Zander. The balance of the financing will be provided by AMD and other potential partners.

Of course, funds will be allocated gradually. As you know, over 70% of modern fab construction is about purchasing hi-tech equipment, so Fab36 gradual financing will help to carry such expenditures burden.

It´s also interesting that at the construction launch ceremony Hector Ruiz, president and CEO at AMD, said about the significant similarity between processes used at IBM´s 65nm 300mm fab in East Fishkill, NY and AMD´s Fab36. Thus, despite the lack of additional comments from AMD, we can assume that IBM will remain the AMD´s largest technology partner all these years.

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