Print 12 comment(s) - last by phazers.. on Mar 5 at 12:28 PM

AMD officially sheds its manufacturing operations

The slow economy has forced AMD, the world's second largest chipmaker, to make some hard decisions in the wake of consecutive quarterly losses. The company has been cutting jobs and posted a massive loss in 2008.

In 2008 alone AMD lost over $3 billion with a big chunk of the loss coming as a result of the company’s purchase of ATI in 2006. Earlier this month, AMD shareholders voted to allow the spinoff of AMD's manufacturing arm.

AMD announced this week that it officially finalized the deal to spin off its manufacturing facilities into a new company headed by former AMD executives. The new company will be called Globalfoundries.

DailyTech reported in late February that AMD CEO Dirk Meyer had said that the spinoff would be a culture change for AMD as lots of skilled employees left the chipmaker to help start the new manufacturing company.

Globalfoundries will begin building AMD Opteron and Turion chips for AMD and the company reports that it may outsource the building of its ATI GPUs in the future. Globalfoundries will be headed by former AMD CEO Hector Ruiz. Ruiz was the chairman of the AMD board and his former position with AMD will be filled by Bruce Clafin, a former 3Com and IBM executive.

AMD will continue to migrate its processors from the current 65nm process to a smaller 45nm process. AMD also announced new ATI mobile GPUs this week that are constructed using 40nm process technology.

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Legal/Feasible - AMD CPUs made at TSMC?
By Bateluer on 3/4/2009 11:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like TSMC has really solid 55nm processes. What is stopping AMD from outsourcing production to them? Legal concerns with x86 licensing?

By aegisofrime on 3/4/2009 12:13:15 PM , Rating: 4
The name of the new company is Global Foundries.

RE: Legal/Feasible - AMD CPUs made at TSMC?
By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 12:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has been using TSMC for a while now. I think they are looking at money. It takes a lot of R&D and money to have a die shrink. Why have a constant die shrink every year, when you can space them out and just have one big die shrink.

All they'd do is go from 65, to 55, only to drop to 45. They probably wouldn't even make their money back for the work they would put into making a 55nm.

By soydios on 3/4/2009 3:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
ATi has been using TSMC.
AMD had a partnership with Charter Semiconductor when demand for the Athlon 64 outpaced their fab capacity.

By nafhan on 3/5/2009 10:42:10 AM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that GPU's contain a lot of very similar functional blocks, and thus much of the design work is automated. With CPU's this is not completely the case, and a lot more of the design work is still "done by hand" (in a manner of speaking). So, moving a CPU from process node to another is a much bigger deal than moving a GPU, flash memory chip, etc. to a new node. That's why you don't usually see Intel or AMD chips on half nodes like 55nm.
I'm not an EE, so this is just what I've been told in the past.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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