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AMD Q4 2008 Roadmap  (Source:
AMD plants in Dresden, Germany at the heart of rumours

AMD isn’t in the competitive position against top rival Intel that it once enjoyed. AMD, however, hasn’t given up though and continues to battle Intel for market share. AMD is particularly strong in the server market, especially in the virtualization realm where its technology offers better performance than some of Intel's similar offerings.

Rumors have circulated for a while now that AMD is looking to spin-off some of its chip plants. CNET News reports the rumors keep coming up repeatedly due to some truth being in them. Another rumor was started about a possible spin-off recently that cited analyst John Lau with Jefferies & Co who said, "[AMD may] spin-off of its manufacturing operations within two weeks."

CNET News quotes AMD's Drew Prairie saying, "I wouldn't expect an urgent phone call from me in the next two weeks." The implication being that Lau's timing may not be accurate. The chip factories at the heart of the rumors are the pair AMD owns in Dresden, Germany.

Prairie also said, "I wouldn't take that assumption from (analysts) as definitive. There are a lot of nuances and gray areas, as to what we're going to be doing. A lot the speculation is painting things as black and white. I don't think, come announcement day, it will be that black and white."

Prairie also stated again that the chip plant in New York -- which DailyTech reported on in June 2006 -- is a critical part of AMD's manufacturing capability. Other analysts believe that AMD could receive another influx of investment cash to shore up its operations in a manner similar to the $622 million an Abu Dhabi firm paid for an 8.1% stake in AMD in November 2007.

In related news, AMD's Q4 2008 roadmap surfaced today at The roadmap shows new AMD processors are inbound starting on October 8. On that day, AMD will introduce an AMD Athlon X2 5050e Brisbane-based CPU running at 2.6GHz. The same day AMD shows a new Phenom X3 8850 running at 2.5GHz debuting.

In November, AMD will introduce AMD Ultra-Value Client (UVC) solutions that are direct OEM products only. In the consumer space AMD will announced a new Lima-based Athlon 2650e at 1.6GHz. A new Brisbane-based Athlon X2 3250e running 1.5GHz will also be introduced in November.

In December, AMD will unveil several new Phenom parts. One of them will be a Toliman-based Phenom X3 8850 running at 2.5GHz that will be multiplier unlocked. The roadmap also shows in December a pair of new Deneb-based Phenom quad-core parts. The CPUs will include the a Phenom X4 running at 3.0GHz, and a Phenom X4 running at 2.8GHz. Both of these processors will apparently not hit retail until early January.

DailyTech first reported on Deneb AMD parts in March of 2008.

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Selling their plants?
By Sulphademus on 9/5/2008 1:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Spin-off usually means "selling."

Why would a company who, last I knew, was working at capacity, want to sell of their manufacturing capability and, likely, need to pay the people who just bought their former fab to make parts for them?

TSMC is making all their ATI chips. I thought maybe AMD would want more control of their products and not less?

Maybe they want to pass the buck on fab costs but they'd be paying for it anyways by contracting out the work!

RE: Selling their plants?
By KristopherKubicki on 9/5/2008 1:27:37 PM , Rating: 3
The upkeep on those fabs is incredibly expensive.

RE: Selling their plants?
By DASQ on 9/5/2008 5:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yes indeed.

Instead of upgrading fabs, Intel almost always just makes a new fab at the 'new' process, once that process is superseded, it gets turned into a chipset fab. After that, they just sell the entire fab off.

An Intel engineer offered me a deal on a 90nm/300mm fab a couple months back... Unfortunately, I was short about ~$9.99999 billion :(

RE: Selling their plants?
By Penti on 9/6/2008 9:49:16 PM , Rating: 1
They have sold of a lot of old lines and tools. But who would want to run AMDs fabs for them. Nobody I guess?

RE: Selling their plants?
By amdwilliam1985 on 9/5/2008 1:36:35 PM , Rating: 3
Nvidia and the former Ati was doing fun having TSMC manufacturing their chips. They just have to come up with the chip design. Maybe AMD can also benefit from it?

RE: Selling their plants?
By amanojaku on 9/5/2008 4:13:07 PM , Rating: 5
Nvidia and the former Ati was doing fun

I did fun last night. Fun was good. I can't wait to do fun again. ;-)

RE: Selling their plants?
By ZimZum on 9/5/2008 5:08:48 PM , Rating: 5
You keep doing fun like that and you'll go blind and your palms will get hairy.

RE: Selling their plants?
By Samus on 9/6/2008 3:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Everytime I do fun, God kills a kitten. I hate cats.

RE: Selling their plants?
By ajfink on 9/5/2008 1:45:07 PM , Rating: 3
As I understand it in this context, it would be a separate AMD entity that could potentially become quite like TSMC. It would isolate the manufacturing portion of the company from any downswings in AMD's product competitiveness, which would certainly be a good thing. Its first and primary goal, though, would still be to fab AMD processors.

RE: Selling their plants?
By spluurfg on 9/5/2008 4:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
As I understand it in this context, it would be a separate AMD entity that could potentially become quite like TSMC. It would isolate the manufacturing portion of the company from any downswings in AMD's product competitiveness, which would certainly be a good thing. Its first and primary goal, though, would still be to fab AMD processors.

Indeedy. Spin-offs can have a uniquely motivating effect in that they usually produce an entity with one or very few operations. Thus they know that their bread is buttered with their operations and there will be no parent corporation to shore up their P/L with their other divisions.

RE: Selling their plants?
By croc on 9/5/2008 9:14:27 PM , Rating: 1
And AMD still has Hector sitting around, twiddling his thumbs... Spin off a few fabs, give them to Hector and let him start earning his keep. Could be sink or swim time, Hector!

RE: Selling their plants?
By dagamer34 on 9/7/2008 12:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Hector Ruiz resigned July 18, 2008. You're a bit behind the times, man.

RE: Selling their plants?
By Natfly on 9/5/2008 1:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
In the long run its probably cheaper to make your own chips, but AMD needs to actually make that far. They are in a few billion in debt and need to pay it off so they can become profitable again.

RE: Selling their plants?
By Flunk on 9/5/2008 1:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
There is no mention of selling the spun-off companies. It's possible that they want to do this for taxation purposes or so that the manufacturing company can take contract jobs from other chip designers. We just don't have the information yet.

RE: Selling their plants?
By Kougar on 9/5/2008 2:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
"Spinning off" more often applies to the parent company spinning off a portion of itself into a subsidiary, or a separate company they own a controlling stake in. Not selling it outright to an outside source.

However this was going to work, if it is arranged so there was AMD + this new Fabbing company, this fabbing company could contract out to build various chips for other businesses using these plants. In the very least it would allow AMD to focus on design, while the new company can focus on alternative means to keep the fabs profitable while also financing necessary upgrades in FAB technology. Such as Intel and TSMC are already prepping for 450mm wafers, and anyone that knows AMD's history knows how big an issue the 200mm vs 300mm wafer conversion was for them to sort out, despite having the better product at the time.

If one thing is for sure, AMD's New York fab is extremely important. This fab is slated to open in 2010 building 45nm chips from 300mm wafers. Considering how problematic AMD's past die shrinks have been, they are probably heavily counting on this one plant to be up and running by 2011 to supply the majority of their 45nm CPU capacity. Then again, they haven't even begun physical construction yet far as I can tell...

RE: Selling their plants?
By Master Kenobi on 9/5/2008 2:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, the New York site has not started construction yet, I believe there are still agreements to be settled with the state before it can begin.

RE: Selling their plants?
By Oregonian2 on 9/5/2008 2:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
"Spinning off" more often applies to the parent company spinning off a portion of itself into a subsidiary, or a separate company they own a controlling stake in. Not selling it outright to an outside source.

This is true, but it's my observation that it's often if not almost always done as a precursor to either selling it or a portion of it (like when stock is issued/sold to the public for the separate entity) or is separated completely by issuing stock to the new entity and giving it to the current stockholders (sort-of like selling it all to the existing stockholders with the price being a portion of the equity they own in the "main" company's stock).

RE: Selling their plants?
By Kougar on 9/5/2008 8:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
That is true, but that is what happens when a sepearate company is formed. The new company sells off stock, however the founding company often retains a controlling interest, ie 51% of the total shares, or the largest majority. I've seen some "spin-offs" end up with one company owning 51% of the shares and the other owning 49%, just to give an example.

Either way usually the originating company owns an interest in, and the split off comapny receives a huge influx of cash. Which is something AMD or a would-be spun off fabbing portion could very much use.

RE: Selling their plants?
By Oregonian2 on 9/8/2008 1:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
That's true a lot of the time, particularly in the short to medium term. Exception is the case when the new company's stock is distributed to stockholders in which case the company itself will own nothing of the spinout (albeit have common owners).

RE: Selling their plants?
By dnd728 on 9/6/2008 4:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
It makes the most sense to me if they spin off their fabs to the IBM alliance, retaining partial ownership in the new company. AMD can't keep up with Intel on their own, but together they'll be more then capable.

RE: Selling their plants?
By dnd728 on 9/6/2008 4:22:27 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Selling their plants?
By Penti on 9/6/2008 10:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
You know, CSM in Singapore basically works like a fab for AMD already, they even share some tools with the Dresden fabs.

I don't see it though how it would help AMD to become a foundry, we already has companies like ST in Europe. They doesn't have any final assembly or packaging plant in Dresden and uses Malaysia for packaging. Where TSMC does have packaging done on the island. And has an advantage.

By SigmundEXactos on 9/5/2008 5:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
The new spun off fab-only company would have a much better balance sheet, so they can actually take out reasonably priced loans to finance new fab construction and upgrades...

By crystal clear on 9/6/2008 1:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
The credit crunch ensures raising capital or loans is just impossible for such a venture.

Other option left -

* Approach the IBM alliance to bail them out.

* take a flight to Dubai for some soveriegn funds.

Last option-Declare bankcruptsy

By Ringold on 9/6/2008 3:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not impossible, just more expensive than before. Depends on how much that money is worth to 'em.

A third option: Go to Bill Gross, and beg.

By crystal clear on 9/7/2008 9:33:55 AM , Rating: 2
Given AMDs poor financial track record & low credit ratings,
lenders will be extremely cautious about their lendings.

Plus they (the lenders) like you are aware of the nanometer race now into 45nms then onto 32nm to 22nm at such a rapid pace & succession.

Add to this price cuts/wars keep profit margins very low.

Managing your inventories becomes a dangerous balancing act.

Cost cutting to reorganization & restructoring becomes the most critical factor.

Either you get it right & at the right time or find yourself one generation (nms) behind.

Retooling & maintaining these fabs so frequently is going to be an extremely expensive affair.

The chip business is ruthless & Ringold know this business, what it is like.

Lenders are well aware of all the above factors/risks.

Only the likes of Intel & the IBM alliance can take on such projects.

As for Bill Gross...well even he would think twice....

Wow, a new 2.5Ghz CPU?
By Belard on 9/5/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wow, a new 2.5Ghz CPU?
By omnicronx on 9/5/2008 5:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Most of these new chips are 45nm... Its a die shrink, it can possibly make a big difference, and yes I would consider it a new product. Im waiting to see how these babies overclock!

A simple google search would have found you the same results..

RE: Wow, a new 2.5Ghz CPU?
By smilingcrow on 9/6/2008 5:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
"How many versions of a 2.5~2.6 Ghz CPUs do we need? Unless it something shocking, the 5050 sounds like a renamed product anyways."

Maybe AMD should merge with nVIDIA then. :)

New Chips
By superunknown98 on 9/5/2008 3:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
Finally we will see some official chips at 3.0Ghz. It will be interesting to see how they compare with Intel's latest C2D's.

I'm also not really sure where the Athlon 2650e and Athlon X2 3250e running 1.5GHz fit in. They both use much more power than Inte's Atom, so netbook's are out of the picture. HTPC's with The AMD 780G or 790GX chipset would probably be fine, but what else really? file server? semi-netbook? I don't see them selling a ton of these.

RE: New Chips
By DragonMaster0 on 9/7/2008 1:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
They both use much more power than Intel's Atom

Read a little review, maybe?

Chipset consumes 1/2 power, CPU runs cooler even if consuming more power, total power use lower than with Atom. (lower idle consumption with power saving features)

CPU way faster, with more performance per watt.

By Alias1431 on 9/5/2008 10:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
"especially in the virtualization realm where its technology offers better performance than some of Intel's similar offerings."

Is this true??

RE: Question
By crystal clear on 9/6/2008 1:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
Quad-Core AMD Opteron™ Processors to Power New HP Blade Technology

— HP ProLiant BL495c is the world’s first server blade designed specifically to host virtual machines; 35 systems from global OEMs now shipping with Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors —

Smart Spinoff
By FootFungus on 9/6/2008 8:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
If they are smart they will spin the fabs off like Coke did with their bottling companies. Coke spun off the majority of their debt into the Bottlers. They kept a 49% stake and packed the board with allies. Coke came off looking like a major success for a long time, even though they pulled an Enron right out in the open without resorting to fictitious shell companies.

AMD can come out really good on this. Let's face it, Hector needs to do something this lame to boost the stock price. He (and pretty much 95%+ of large company execs) are not capable of doing it through good business practices and execution.

RE: Smart Spinoff
By crystal clear on 9/7/2008 9:54:06 AM , Rating: 2
AMD probably wants to adopt the Nvidia business model.

Yes they would have succeeded if they were FREE of those debts & their severe cash crisis.

Right now the outlook is gloomy..they cannot even break even as they promised earlier , forget making a profit.

AMD is a classic case of a good product lineup mixed with bad management.

By Beenthere on 9/5/2008 5:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Must be another slow news week...

There are so many clueless folks in the media who get paid for writing such dribble that it's sickening.

I've lost count of the totally incorrect, foolish, ignorant, baseless reports and ANALysis of impending AMD death that have been penned over the past 15 years. It's just outrageous that this nonsense passes for news let alone factual information.

You can tell that some in the media get a real bent nose because AMD doesn't feed them trivia daily for their websites. Unlike Intel who completely manipulates the media to control the dissemination of FUD to try and disparage AMD and other competitors, AMD is a class act. AMD is customer oriented not financially greed oriented. AMD may have taken a slight top end CPU performance hit recently but so did Intel for two YEARS, when AMD led the way.

Some people seem to have a real hang-up on what "asset light" means and they have read all kinds of nonsense into AMD's statement that they will move towards an "asset light" operation. "Asset light" does not mean AMD is closing or selling their Fabs despite the speculation and delusional reports of many in the media - some of who are calling out AMD. Demands for an explanation is pure school boy behavior - as if AMD has to answer to anyone in the media.

Take all the foolishness posted by the media with a very large grain of salt. Keep in mind if it were not for AMD we'd all be using Pentium 90 CPUs and paying $1000+ for each one of them. In my opinion, if you want to maintain a free, open market, you want to buy AMD products and support the prosecution of Intel for countless violations of law, for which Intel is currently being sued by AMD and many other entities. Unlike Intel, AMD has earned their success by delivering quality products to consumers at competitive prices, not via criminal activities designed to eliminate competition so that Intel can enjoy an illegal monopoly.

my speculation....
By hans007 on 9/5/2008 7:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
really si this...

if they spin off the dresden fab or fabs to some other entity and have the entity say take care of the current CPU production.

say they sell the fabs to i dunno tsmc. And tsmc now gets some cut of cpus produced there and pays fo rhte fab.

granted it would cost more to build a chip, since tsmc will have to take a cut.

but the much needed capital would help AMD survive long enough to start turning a profit and paying its ATI debt off. Not to mentions ay they spin off the fabs into a seperate company. Lets call this "AMD fab company" and they do a stock offering for it. the money they raise with that, they can still pay AMD fab company to fab their chips , but the stock offering money could be used to fund new operations.

So they could sya spin the fabs off, get IPO money for them (sort of liek what they did with spansion) and then use that money + the money NY is giving them to actually build the NY fab while the offer is still on the table, or fund other activities.

I mean, spinning off the fab's as a seperate compnay is the the only way they can really raise funds now, since diluting their shares more would not be all that wise given the current share price.

By mindless1 on 9/6/2008 2:08:27 AM , Rating: 2
... but to me the more interesting part is the OEM Ultra-Value client systems. Looks like we might be seeing some nice, small, inexpensive secondary use systems down the road.

By crystal clear on 9/6/2008 1:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
All I did was some gazing into the crystal ball & here comes the answers.

Yes financially AMD is in a very bad state of affairs , they have no choice but to sell off fabs to survive or go bankcrupt.

This year end marks the beginning of the 45nm era for AMD so this the best time to get out manufacturing completely.

They do this by creating a new company which opens the door to IBM & the alliance partners to enter this new venture with AMD offering its Dresden fabs for a minority stake.

The management of this company will be done by a IBM appointee with IBM holding a majority stake in the company.

Production is spread out amongst the IBM alliance partners, whilst AMD concentrates on R&D & marketing.

They give this statergy a face saving name called Asset lite & gracefully move out manufacturing.

In short AMD will be down graded to the level of a chip design or a R&D company.

Then AMD awaits for a buyer to buy up the last asset left over to sell namely the R&D.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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