Greater Yield: 322 Athlon-CPUs Per Wafer
Because AMD only uses wafers with a 200 mm diameter, this results in a silicon area totalling 31415 mm². The quotient of wafer surface and the size of the CPU die gives you a theoretical yield without geometric waste. The production process of the 200 mm wafers has shown that there's a waste of about 18%.
Thus, AMD calculates that the production of the Thoroughbred core in Dresden will result in a yield of 322 processors - based on 0.13-µm technology and a die surface of 80 mm². Note that the yield here assumes an error quota of 0%. Compared to this, only about 201 Athlon processors with the Palomino core (128 mm² die surface and 0.18-µm technology) can be produced using the same wafer!
In the end, AMD can count on an increase in yield of approximately 60% (322 CPUs vs. 201 CPUs) just by virtue of the smaller die alone! Intel's Pentium 4 with the Northwood core requires a surface of 146 mm², which means a yield of around 176 processors per wafer. Now, Intel will gradually switch to using wafers of 300 mm diameter in its production process. The reason for this is that larger wafers result in less waste in terms of percentage. AMD has no further plans for change at the moment.
Comparison: More Transistors Per Surface Area With AMD
The table below shows how many transistors AMD and Intel can fit on their respective CPU cores per square millimeter die surface. AMD manages to place about 468750 transistors on a surface measuring 1 x 1 mm.
|Processor||Athlon XP w/Thoroughbred Core||Athlon XP w/Palomino Core||Athlon XP w/Barton Core||Pentium 4 w/Northwood Core||Pentium 4 w/Willamette Core|
|Manufacturing Process||0,13 µm||0,18 µm||0,13 µm||0,13 µm||0,18 µm|
|Die size||80 mm²||128 mm²||115 mm²||146 mm²||217 mm²|
|Number of Gates||37,5 Million||37,5 Million||53,9 Million||55 Million||42 Million|
|Gates per size||468750 gates/ mm²||292969 gates/ mm²||468750 gates/ mm²||376712 gates/ mm²||193548 gates/ mm²|