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G5 News: IBM to boost wafer fab output by 40% this quarter

post #1 of 50
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Amid a strong third quarter, IBM said it will significantly increase its microprocessor production during the current quarter.

In what appears to be encouraging news for the G5 processor, IBM Corp. plans to boost the wafer output within its 300-mm fab over the next quarter, the company told Silicon Strategies on Monday.

Citing strong performance of its microprocessor sector during its third fiscal quarter, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer, Mark Loughridge, said the company will to boost production by 40 percent in the fourth quarter.

Over the past year IBM has struggled with chip yields at its East Fishkill, N.Y. fab, a 130- and 90-nm plant. These shortcomings have directly affected Apple Computer, which relies on a constant flow of 64-bit G5 processors from the company's Microelectronics Group for its iMac and Power Mac line of desktop computers.

During its FY 04 fourth quarter conference call last week, Apple said that shipments of both the new iMac G5 and the PowerMac G5 were constrained due to ongoing supply constraints associated with IBM's G5 processor. However, the company it was enthusiastic over progress being made by IBM to increase G5 yields.

In September Apple shipped twice as many G5s as it did in the months July and August combined. The Mac maker said it believes progress will continue with a leveling of supply and demand for most variants of the G5 projected for the end of its fiscal Q1 05.

Yields of IBM's 2.5GHz G5 processor could take slightly longer to improve, Apple warned.
post #2 of 50
This all but guarantees a G5 eMac
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post #3 of 50
That could be very very good.

Extremely good.
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post #4 of 50
sure, this is great news, but they should've done this a couple of months ago.
post #5 of 50
And Motorola should have fixed their problems years ago.

Your point?
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post #6 of 50
Hmm, no need to be so harsh Kickaha, I was only trying to say they had plenty of time to increase their wafer output, since they already know for a long time that demand is very high for these processors. So it's kind off late. What has motorola to do with what I'm trying to say?
post #7 of 50
Just that it was rather a, um, silly comment... IBMs not stupid, they know there is demand. It's not like they said to themselves "Wow, there's a great market for this, let's just not sell any..." :/

Taking them to task for working out the bugs by shaking your fists and saying "Yeah, but you should have done it *sooner*!" is a waste of your energy and time - of course it would have been nice for them to have, for everyone involved. It also would have been nice for Motorola to get their craniums out of their rectums, but they failed to do so until it was too late.

Good to hear that they're getting the system flowing smoothly, if a bit behind schedule.

(And I asked what your point was, because I genuinely didn't see what it was... still not sure, but if it was merely to vent frustration, so be it.)
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post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
...Mark Loughridge, said the company will to boost production by 40 percent in the fourth quarter.

Will TRY to? Will promise to? Will vow to?
post #9 of 50
great news for Apple & IBM. And all of us.
post #10 of 50
Very good news. Now we can see how strong buyer demand for the G5 iMac is during the Christmas season. I would bet that there will be a lot of 17" iMacs, but there will still be a shortage of 20" models. It's going to be a good Christmas for a lot of people!
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post #11 of 50
Could this mean G5 PowerBooks announced in January? It will be interesting to see what happens.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Just that it was rather a, um, silly comment... IBMs not stupid, they know there is demand. It's not like they said to themselves "Wow, there's a great market for this, let's just not sell any..." :/

Taking them to task for working out the bugs by shaking your fists and saying "Yeah, but you should have done it *sooner*!" is a waste of your energy and time - of course it would have been nice for them to have, for everyone involved. It also would have been nice for Motorola to get their craniums out of their rectums, but they failed to do so until it was too late.

Good to hear that they're getting the system flowing smoothly, if a bit behind schedule.

(And I asked what your point was, because I genuinely didn't see what it was... still not sure, but if it was merely to vent frustration, so be it.)

It was no venting or anything, just the first thing that popped into my mind after reading the article. Companies make mistakes like anyone or anything, Apple does it, IBM does it, Microsoft does it, and I don't think there is anything wrong with pointing out the mistakes they make. But hey, let's not go off-topic
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by debuysserk
sure, this is great news, but they should've done this a couple of months ago.

You're statement is right on with my thoughts while reading this article. I get you.

I guess the problem is that they make it sound like it was simply a matter of deciding to up production-too which we all say "duh." If they had said we had this problem and we worked it out allowing us to up production by 40% then maybe the intial reaction wouldn't be so flippant.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by debuysserk
sure, this is great news, but they should've done this a couple of months ago.

Yes, but they waited just to piss everyone off.
post #15 of 50
I'm a little slow on the tech details. IBM is increasing "300 mm" output... and that includes "130 nm" and "90 nm" chips because the 300 mm refers the overall size of the wafer, vs. the nm numbers referring to the microscopic elements on the chips? Am I close?
post #16 of 50
Yup.
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post #17 of 50
Is this the way Mr.Macphisto( spelling?) was talking about? Or is this a whole different way?
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Zweben
Will TRY to? Will promise to? Will vow to?

Will fail to?
:-(
post #19 of 50
Also Apple and IBM will ship 3GHz G5s last summer.

Will means nothing to me as other problems can arise. Is means everything.
post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Is means everything. [/B]

Well, that depends on your definition of "is."
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Yes, but they waited just to piss everyone off.

I knew it! Those blasted IBM folks have always had it in for us Apple users. We pissed them off with the Apple II. We conned people into thinking a GUI was actually a better interface than a command line. Then we went and used Motorola chips for our computers. Well, they got their revenge, didn't they. Bwahahahahaha.

Of course, did anyone consider what they'll be boosting the output of is 'nilla wafers? Maybe Necco wafers? Or perhaps wafer cones for ice cream. I hear Steve likes ice cream (well, soy ice cream).
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by s_sarinana
Could this mean G5 PowerBooks announced in January? It will be interesting to see what happens.

What does the increase in the number of G5 processors IBM pumps out in a day have to do with designing one that can be squeezed into the PowerBook form factor?
post #23 of 50
Well I hope it's G5 MP's and not cell chips their increasing on 300mm wafers...
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post #24 of 50
What exactly are they saying though? It never says they getting better yields. It never says they are going to producing the 40% more from fishkill either.
I hate to be pessimistic, but Business has a way of putting an overly positive spin on what is actually happening. I wish it would have said they are seeing 40% better yields on 90nm G5 PPC processors.
Not to say that this is not good news that 40% more processors will be coming from somewhere, but I think you see what I'm saying.
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post #25 of 50
They seek it here
They seek it there
Those Macies seek it everywhere
Is it in heaven
Or is it in hell
That damned elusive 3GHz G5!

;-)
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post #26 of 50
Baroness Orczy's version had more polish, methinks.
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post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by LudwigVan
What does the increase in the number of G5 processors IBM pumps out in a day have to do with designing one that can be squeezed into the PowerBook form factor?

Less power leakage, fewer defects limiting chip operations. Your low power chips are actually usually the best of the batch.
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post #28 of 50
I know i'm not capable of constructing a decent english sentence myself, but doesn't anybody proofread those Appleinsider articles? I'm just sayin'...
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post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by debuysserk
sure, this is great news, but they should've done this a couple of months ago.

Yes, but if this actually happens, I see a good future.
post #30 of 50
To those who see this as "IBM should've done this months ago", do you have any idea how chip manufacturing works? They ran into issues going to 90nm and were working at fixing the issue. Why would IBM want to get a, perhaps, 50% yield and produce a bunch of useless wafers when they were having problems getting things right? Seriously, you can't believe that!

Now that yields are up, so is the volume. What part of this is hard to understand?

You know, IBM is not just producing them for Apple alone....they use them too in their JS20 blade servers. People, come on....
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post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
What exactly are they saying though? It never says they getting better yields....

Your right, but it does say,"Yields of IBM's 2.5GHz G5 processor could take slightly longer to improve, Apple warned.". Longer than what? Which kind of implies they are getting improved yields on the 2.0, 1.8 and possibly the 2.3gHz(?).

For a while now, I've been wondering if the 2.3GHz used @ Virginia Tech just might be preproduction runs of the 970 using SOI? Maybe these are some of the chips that Chipworks refered to when saying they were expecting production qualifying run samples of the 970 using SOI. I have no basis for this, but it seems that the xServers would need lower power cpu's than desktops, maybe?? Plus the fact that the 2.3GHz hasn't appeared @ the Apple Store yet.
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post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by rickag
Your right, but it does say,"Yields of IBM's 2.5GHz G5 processor could take slightly longer to improve, Apple warned.". Longer than what? Which kind of implies they are getting improved yields on the 2.0, 1.8 and possibly the 2.3gHz(?).

For a while now, I've been wondering if the 2.3GHz used @ Virginia Tech just might be preproduction runs of the 970 using SOI? Maybe these are some of the chips that Chipworks refered to when saying they were expecting production qualifying run samples of the 970 using SOI. I have no basis for this, but it seems that the xServers would need lower power cpu's than desktops, maybe?? Plus the fact that the 2.3GHz hasn't appeared @ the Apple Store yet.

I really doubt that -- they are probably just hand-picked cream-of-the-crop processors. They would have become 2.5s but the VT needed them cooler than that so they were down clocked.

The IBM announcement doesn't say how they will accomplish this increase in production. Note that it says production and not yields which implies that they are either devoting more of their 300mm capacity to the G5 (now that the yields are good enough to make it profitable), or they have spent the money to increase their 300mm capacity (now that the yields are good enough to make it profitable). Either way this isn't something they could have done before because of the yield problems. If you are losing X million per day per production line, why would you add production lines? They had enough running to deliver some product to Apple and to work out the kinks in the system, but only when the yields rise to a certain level can they afford to ramp production. Now it seems that yields have improved to that point, which is a very good sign. The 2.5 yields are still iffy, but that will likely have to await the next revision of the 970 family.
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post #33 of 50
well i'd think they'd have to to meet demand of iMac.

Does anyone know when they'll release a new PowerPC? I''m now considering one of those.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by cubedcompanies
well i'd think they'd have to to meet demand of iMac.

Does anyone know when they'll release a new PowerPC? I''m now considering one of those.

What on earth did you just ask?

PowerBook? PowerMac?
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Rhumgod
To those who see this as "IBM should've done this months ago", do you have any idea how chip manufacturing works? They ran into issues going to 90nm and were working at fixing the issue. Why would IBM want to get a, perhaps, 50% yield and produce a bunch of useless wafers when they were having problems getting things right? Seriously, you can't believe that!

Now that yields are up, so is the volume. What part of this is hard to understand?

You know, IBM is not just producing them for Apple alone....they use them too in their JS20 blade servers. People, come on....

Duuuude, stop interjecting reality into this discussion. We are having fun apart from the real world We all know that making a large quantity of small chips is very easy. After all, Motorola could do it, so why not IBM?

Stupid IBM! Out to destroy Apple! Too little, too late! You twits! Why you curse Apple product? When I get headless G5 for $300?
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post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by rickag
Your right, but it does say,"Yields of IBM's 2.5GHz G5 processor could take slightly longer to improve, Apple warned.". Longer than what? Which kind of implies they are getting improved yields on the 2.0, 1.8 and possibly the 2.3gHz(?).

For a while now, I've been wondering if the 2.3GHz used @ Virginia Tech just might be preproduction runs of the 970 using SOI? Maybe these are some of the chips that Chipworks refered to when saying they were expecting production qualifying run samples of the 970 using SOI. I have no basis for this, but it seems that the xServers would need lower power cpu's than desktops, maybe?? Plus the fact that the 2.3GHz hasn't appeared @ the Apple Store yet.

What IBM said was -according to AI

Quote:
Originally noted by AI
"IBM said it will significantly increase its microprocessor production during the current quarter"

What your saying that it implies it never actually says. What it does say is the will be producing more processors using the 300-mm wafers.

This could mean any # of things. They may be slowing, or stopping production on some older less used fabs, and devoting more 300-mm wafer stations (terminology isn't my strong point here) that will end up producing about 40% more G5 processors.

If they got specific, and noted that yields on the existing 300-mm wafers were up by 40% I would see this as improvement to the fab process, but this press release has no indication of actual progress with the manufacturing process pertaining to individual 300-mm wafer yields.


[edit] - didn't see your post programmer, but good points - all of them.
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post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by tak1108
What on earth did you just ask?

PowerBook? PowerMac?

Seems quite clear to me. He wants to know when the next PowerPC CPU after the 970FX is coming. We've had the 970, and the 970FX so far... when's the next CPU comin'.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Leonard
Seems quite clear to me. He wants to know when the next PowerPC CPU after the 970FX is coming. We've had the 970, and the 970FX so far... when's the next CPU comin'.

970GX with 2MB L2 cache.




post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by LudwigVan
What does the increase in the number of G5 processors IBM pumps out in a day have to do with designing one that can be squeezed into the PowerBook form factor?

I wasn't talking about the design. That a totally different issue. I'm saying that perhaps IBM is going to produce more G5's because Apple may be planning to release the PowerBook with a G5 processor come January. For all we know, Apple may have already addressed the heat/battery life issues. You don't know, I don't know, nobody knows, except Apple engineers.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
What IBM said was -according to AI

not AI - Silicon Strategies unless AI reported inaccurately.
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
What your saying that it implies it never actually says. What it does say is the will be producing more processors using the 300-mm wafers.

Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
What exactly are they saying though? It never says they getting better yields.

What it does say is," However, the company it was enthusiastic over progress being made by IBM to increase G5 yields." Unless of course AI isn't reporting from the Silicon Strategies article.

I did say, your right-refering to increased wafer production, but you painted a very negative picture about yields, when in fact IBM has stated that yields have been improving and only the 2.5GHz yields are yet to come up to expectations.

Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
I really doubt that -- they are probably just hand-picked cream-of-the-crop processors. They would have become 2.5s but the VT needed them cooler than that so they were down clocked.

Oh well, hope springs eternal. At least Chipworks was expecting samples a qualifying production run of a 970fx using SOI soon and that was reported over a month ago. I wonder what "soon" means to Chipworks?: a month, 3 months, a year? time will tell.
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