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Indications: Angstrem to partner AMD in 130nm fab

Posted: 08 Jun 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AMD Dresden  Angstrem partner  130nm fab 

A number of indicators point towards AMD as the source of JSC Angstrem's forthcoming 130nm CMOS process. But Anatoly Sukhoparov, chairman of the board of directors of Russian chipmaker, has declined to confirm the same.

First, one of Sukhoparov's slides, used as part of his presentation to this week's SEMI conference in Moscow, Russia, referred to M+W Zander and AMD as partners in process and equipment importation. "Equipment layout draft is currently being finalised by MZW and will be scrutinised by AMD experts," the slide said. Why would AMD be the equipment layout experts except in the circumstances where Angstrem was using some sort of copy-close or copy-exact plan based on an AMD plant, such as Dresden?

A second piece of evidence is that Angstrem is importing a 130nm CMOS process with copper metallisation. "We've decided to go with copper," Sukhoparov told the conference.

The low resistance qualities of copper are more usually associated with high-speed digital logic, as used in microprocessors, than with the variety of analogue and mixed-signal process extensions Angstrem says it wants to pursue. But the use of copper is reminiscent of AMD's early adoption of copper at 130nm.

AMD agreeing to sell equipment from its 200mm line at Dresden, Germany makes sense as the microprocessor maker would like to expand its 300mm production there. Clearing out the 200mm equipment to make way for 300mm equipment would allow AMD to increase capacity at the leading edge. The company, recently reported to be in the red, could also spur profit by selling off such kit and from licensing its technology.

And Angstrem's not only gets its next process but it could potentially benefit by getting some sort of anchor foundry order from AMD.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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