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AMD's plans for the New York plant
Written by Gizmo   
Thursday, 01 February 2007 16:39

AMD held a press conference last week in Saratoga Springs, New York to discuss it's plans regarding the proposed new plant that they are looking at in the Luther Forest Technology Campus near Malta, New York, and which we previously reported on .  What AMD will do has been the source of much speculation, and the US $1.2 billion in subsidies being kicked in by the state of New York has been the source of much gnashing of teeth.

AMD is working with M+W Zander to come up with a general design for the site, tentatively called 'Fab 4x'.  The plans will be presented to AMD management sometime about mid-year and, if approved, the plant would be completed and ready for production 'sometime after 2009', according to Terry Caudell (AMD's Director of Wafer Manufacturing Strategies).  The plant is expected to take about 2 years to build, and Caudell indicated that they could break ground as early as July.

When the plant could actually begin production would depend, in part, on market demand.  When asked if Sun's recent decision to build Intel-based x86 servers would have any impact, AMD spokesman Travis Bullard remarked "We've been partners with Sun for a long time.  It's not a major blow to us."

The plant would initially start production with workers brought in from outside, who would then proceed to train locally sourced workers to take over production.  AMD indicated that one of the reasons it chose the area was because of the region's schools and universities.  Caudell indicated that they were "exactly what we need to find the highly educated work force" that AMD needs to operate the plant.

With regard to the subsidies from the state of New York, Mr. Caudell acknowledged that they were one of the top reasons that AMD chose the site.  New York State Senator Joseph L. Bruno defended the subsidies, saying it was "a great investment".   He went on to note: "In Dresden the return came back in about 17 months", refering to the Saxon state subsidies that helped finance the two fabs AMD operates there.  AMD, however, will have to secure another roughly US $2 billion in financing to build the estimated US $3.2 billion plant.

The new plant will be designed so that additional fabs can be added as needed and is expected to employ roughly 1,200 people.

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