AMD may get into the business of manufacturing chipsets when it opens a new chip factory in 2006, CEO Hector Ruiz have revealed.
For the most part, chipsets for AMD's processors are designed by partners such as Nvidia, ATI and Via, who themselves often hire other companies to manufacture them. AMD has previously said it is not interested in building its own companion processor-chipset products like those made by rival Intel, but Ruiz said that the company is now not opposed to "deeper ties" with chipset partners that could involve manufacturing agreements.
If chipset vendors farm out manufacturing to AMD, the company would benefit in various ways. For example, AMD would generate additional revenue from manufacturing capacity that would otherwise sit unused. It would also have increased control over the process of manufacturing chipsets, which are used in tandem with AMD's chips to control the flow of data around a system.
Right now, AMD does not plan to start developing its own chipset products for the mass market, Ruiz said.
AMD will have the capability to take on additional manufacturing work between late 2006 and early 2007, after a new state-of-the-art chip fabrication plant hits full production in Dresden, Germany.
"It's entirely possible that some of that [excess] capacity can be part of a partnership with a chipset manufacturer," Ruiz said. In any event, AMD definitely plans to deepen relationships with its chipset partners in coming years, which could help the company produce better chips, he said.