Acronyms are fun, aren't they? AMD and UMC are working together on a 300mm fab in Singapore with an eye towards reducing manufacturing costs and increasing profitability. Bigger wafers hold more processors, but the new technologies for the Singapore facility have more to do with improving yields through automated process controls.
Though AMD released its Athlon XP 2600+ last month, supplies are scarce and only two vendors list the new processor on Pricewatch. One of those vendors is taking pre-orders only, and doesn't expect the new chip until October. Intel's Pentium 4 2.8GHz, on the other hand, is widely available from dozens of vendors, if you're willing to pay the processor's higher price.
Automated process controls may help AMD push more processors into the channel at a quicker pace and with a higher margin. Let's hope AMD can keep the delay between Hammer's official release and its actual channel availability as low as possible.
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