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AMD spin-off sees no long-term crisis

Posted: 01 Dec 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:manufacturing arm  foundry services  foundry business 

Advanced Micro Devices's manufacturing arm which is heading for a spin-off to form a foundry services provider, regards the current downturn as a good anti-cyclical investment opportunity. Nevertheless, the company is aware of the challenges they are approaching, said two top managers of the company.

While in the foundry business currently even top dogs such as TSMC admit that the market situation is very difficult and a shakeout cannot be ruled out, the manufacturing subsidiary of microprocessor vendor AMD is deliberately heading for that very market. As reported, Abu Dhabi investment company ATIC plans to take over the majority of the manufacturing company with two production lines in Dresden. On top of the utilisation generated by microprocessor orders from AMD, the company will join the foundry fray.

Managers of AMD's still-subsidiary demonstrate optimism. Gerd Teepe, Director of AMD's Dresden Design Centre feels confident that the crisis won't last forever—and that the electronics industry will emerge from the downturn stronger than ever. "We don't expect long-term market predictions to be reduced significantly," he said in an interview with EE Times Europe. "The prospects for microelectronics remain excellent. After all, microelectronics is a crucial technology for many other industries such as healthcare, automotive, and industry automation. This innovation machine is simply indispensible."

With respect to the investor, everybody at the Dresden production site is confident that he does not plan a short foray but a serious and responsible long-term commitment. For instance David Greenlaw, Director Process Integration. "This is not about a few quarter, but about many years," he said.

Teepe's and Greenlaw's positions are in the focus of what will have to be changed at the 3,000-employee subsidiary: Teepe's design centre will have to support future customers and Greenlaw will have to integrate their orders into the company's established processes. The challenge they are facing is to adapt the internal processes from current captive microprocessor production to the product mix typical for foundry service providers. In addition, sales and marketing have to be modified to the changed environment.

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