AMD LAUNCHES TWO NEW AUTOMATED PRECISION MANUFACTURING (APM) INNOVATION CENTERS FOR 300MM TECHNOLOGY
-Third Generation of APM to Act as "Central Nervous System" in AMD Fab 36-
-Will Extend Company's Decade-Long Progress in Maximizing Wafer Yields and Minimizing Manufacturing Costs-
AUSTIN, TX AND DRESDEN, GERMANY - April 19, 2004 - AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced today that it has formally opened two new Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) Innovation Centers located in Austin, Texas and Dresden, Germany.
APM is AMD's patented suite of more than 250 leading-edge fab automation and optimization technologies used to reduce time-to-yield on new technologies and decrease manufacturing costs.
The new centers will be used by AMD manufacturing technologists and software designers to integrate the next generation of APM, version 3.0, into AMD Fab 36, the company's 300 millimeter (mm) wafer manufacturing facility currently under construction in Dresden.
"This early APM integration effort will allow us to rapidly and efficiently bring fully automated processes online in AMD Fab 36, and will help keep us on schedule," said Gary Heerssen, group vice president, Corporate Manufacturing Group, AMD.
The APM initiative was started at AMD over a decade ago to establish the precise manufacturing capabilities required in the fabrication of highly complex microarchitectures.
The current generation of APM, version 2.0, is tailored to the unique requirements of 200mm manufacturing and is now in full operation at AMD Fab 30 and FASL LLC Fab 25.
"APM is another area where AMD is leading the industry - in this case, with fab automation technologies that reduces time-to-yields," added Heerssen. "Thanks to APM 2.0 and the superior work force in AMD Fab 30, we now ramp our processor products to volume production using a fraction of the silicon wafers required three years ago, even though we have transitioned to a new design and increased the number of transistors three fold to total more than 100 million. The work done in these Innovation Centers is planned to extend and improve these capabilities to further enhance the strong cost benefits of 300mm production."
In AMD Fab 30, APM 2.0 today acts as a kind of "central nervous system" by forming an integrated fabric of communication and control linkages with the hundreds of tools throughout the fab. This sophisticated and highly integrated manufacturing infrastructure constantly monitors the health of microprocessors in production by collecting and analyzing data from the tool sets as wafers enter and exit them for processing.
Using this real-time data analysis, APM automatically and consistently recommends modifications to the routing of wafer groups through the fab, as well as changes to the recipes used within each tool, to optimize the resulting chips' performance.
APM 3.0 will serve a similar role in AMD Fab 36, but with increased precision, greater integration and added levels of automation beyond those currently found in APM 2.0.
"AMD is perhaps best known today for its leadership in 64-bit computing. But quietly, consistently, AMD has also been building a leadership position in something equally important to its growth plans: high-efficiency, high-output manufacturing," said Dan Hutcheson, president of VLSI Research. "The forethought and hard work put into APM has paid off. Today few chipmakers can come close to AMD's level of fab automation, precision and integration."
Efficiency and precision improvements in APM 3.0 will be primarily targeted at three key areas:
Wafer-Level Control - Increased level of precise control allowing recipe adjustments for each individual wafer, rather than groups of wafers.
In-Line Yield Prediction - Increased granularity of defect management for more rapid yield learning.
Active Scheduling - Intelligent wafer transport containers, integrated into the APM communications fabric, automatically decide which path to take through the fab for optimum processing of the wafers they contain.
"When today most companies are just starting with the most basic levels of fab tool integration and automation, AMD is already extending its lead in next-generation capabilities such as automated wafer-level process control, in-line yield prediction and active wafer scheduling," added Hutcheson. "The advantages these technologies give AMD at 300mm look to be significant."
AMD (NYSE:AMD) designs and produces microprocessors, Flash memory devices and low-power processor solutions for the computer, communications and consumer electronics industries. AMD is dedicated to helping its customers deliver standards-based, customer-focused solutions for technology users, ranging from enterprises to government agencies and individual consumers. Founded in 1969, AMD is a Standard & Poor's 500 company with global operations and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia. For more information, visit www.amd.com.
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