Advanced Micro Devices is not delaying 45-nanometer manufacturing, according to the company, which is trying to correct an erroneous report on a blog.
"We are still on track to produce the first (45-nanometer) products by mid-2008," said Gary Silcott, an AMD spokesman. The company will have "pretty good volumes" of 45-nanometer chips by the end of 2008, he added.
The statement comes after a blog post on the Fabtech site. On its quarterly conference call, Eric Meurice, CEO of semiconductor equipment maker ASML, said that the initial wave of orders for immersion lithography tools, which many will use to make 45-nanometer chips, came from makers of NAND flash memory. DRAM makers just started ordering immersion tools. Meurice went onto say that orders from logic makers may not start arriving in volume until 2009.
The blog extrapolated that since AMD will employ immersion lithography to make its 45-nanometer chips, the company must have fallen behind.
The problem, I'm guessing, is the latently ambiguous term "logic makers." AMD makes processors, which are part of the logic chip family. But AMD, Intel and IBM are unusual logic makers. They make expensive, high-end chips and the companies consistently race one another to blast through a barrier first. Most of the other logic makers are companies like LSI Logic, which by the nature of their business are inherently more conservative.
Could AMD fall behind? Sure. Making chips on the 45-nanometer process promises to be difficult. Intel, which does not use immersion lithography in its 45-nanometer cookbook, comes out with its first chips at the end of the year. Even if both companies do manage to meet their initial deadlines, the world will also be watching to see how both do in the shift to volume manufacturing.
Nonetheless, so far it looks somewhat good for both companies. Intel is speaking confidently and analysts that have seen AMD's early work in 45-nanometer are confident the company will make it.