IBM says G5 processor yields continue to improve

“Despite an apparent slowdown in the IC market, IBM Corp. plans to boost the wafer output within its 300-mm fab over the next quarter, according to the company on Monday (Oct. 18). IBM’s Microelectronics Group is also expected to show break-even results for the year, according to analysts,” Mark LaPedus reports for Silicon Strategies.

“IBM doubled the output within the 300-mm fab in the third quarter and has set plans to boost production by 40 percent in the fourth quarter, said Mark Loughridge, senior vice president and chief financial officer for the computer giant (Armonk, N.Y.) The company’s 300-mm fab is located in East Fishkill, New York,” LaPedus reports. “Although IBM is seeing ongoing demand in the foundry business, the company is still reportedly struggling with its fab yields. For months, the unit has struggled with chip yields in the 300-mm fab, a 130- and 90-nm plant.”

LaPedus reports, “Last week, Apple Computer Inc. reported stellar results despite availability problems with its 64-bit G5 processors… Used in Apple’s Mac-based computers, the 64-bit G5 processors are built on a foundry basis by IBM Corp.’s Microelectronics Group… During a conference call on Monday, however, Loughridge indicated that the chip unit is showing some improvement. ‘300-mm yields continue to improve,’ he said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Great news for Apple that IBM is getting handle on their fab issues. More G5s made more efficiently mean more supply for the increasing demand for the new iMac G5 and Power Mac lines. Apple looks to benefit from the increased availability.

25 Comments

  1. “…unit is showing some improvement.”

    This isn’t a very enthusiastic endorsement and doesn’t come close to saying that the yield problems are solved. It’s nice that Fishkill is improving though.

    This avoids Apple the burden of being a mass-market computer maker. I’m glad to see Apple succeed, but I worry that the political pressures of mass-market computing could bog-down Apple’s innovation. I put emphasis on “could”.

    I would like to see IBM succeed. They seem to be much more flexible ind innovative than the other big chip makers.

  2. i just hope they can keep up with the demand! I’m still waiting on a dual 2.5 g5..

    Got my fingers crossed it’ll be here soon!

    But in the MEAN time.. more chips = more Apple Mac computers… a good thing

  3. ok….

    Anyone here got any predictions on what His Steveness will introduce at MWSF this January with his ..”One more thing ?”

    Could we be looking at the elusive Dual 3 ghz G5 ??

    hmmmmm

  4. Apple said at the analyst conference that yields of the 2.5 Ghz chip were still low. The 1.8 seems to be improving, what with the new PowerMac and iMac. Improving is a word that is not encouraging since things have been “improving” for the past 2 quarters. A 3 Ghz chip is a long way off I’m afraid – at least 6 months.

  5. Mac dood asks an interesting question.

    Consider the following:

    Today we have updates for iBook (today), low-end Power Macintosh (today), Xserve Raid (today).

    Next week, we may have iTMS rolled out to another 6-12 major territories, and the week after there is intelligence to suggest a new iPod 60GB and rumours of a PowerBook speed/video bump.

    So we’re actually running out of things for SPJ to unleash in January: Tiger is a given, and I would expect a good 45-60 minutes on that as a subject, and a capacity bump to iPod mini to 6GB would take around 10 minutes of time.

    But what’s left to talk about after that?

    A new high-end Power Macintosh? Maybe a talk from Moto on iTunes-capable phones?

    Who knows�

  6. MCCFR…

    Interesting point about the phones…

    Not too terribly long ago, there was a rumor floating around about The Woz was working on the iPhone ….

    If this turns out to have some truth … it would be great to have Wozniak back into the fold !

  7. While I doubt it’s the “one more thing”, we can also expect to see the updated iLife with Core Graphics/Core Audio support built in. Sooner or later. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  8. Sent in my registration for Macworld already!

    IBM’s roadmap anticipates the dual core G5 production to start in the Spring. Steve might have a pre-production demo on their performance in S.F..

    It’s probably too soon for the wireless mini-portable computer/entertainment manager, so the G5 eMac with a 15″ TFT screen might debut. My guess is a new mini-computer box as a headless G4 eMac, or a G5 mini-box that could spand a wider price range and appeal to gamers if the video card upgrades, or it has an open slot.

  9. Concerning how many G-5 chips IBM is supplying to Apple: in the contract between Apple and IBM covering their joint development of the chip, was it specified what percentage of the chips would go to Apple? Because other powerful companies also want the G-5 chips IBM is producing, like Microsoft and IBM itself, which is putting them in some of its servers. So it could be that it’s not just IBM’s production that’s a problem for Apple, but also the allocation. Anybody know anything about this?

  10. Apple wouldn’t be shipping iMac G5s if they didn’t have the yield issues largely settled.
    Apple wouldn’t have added a single 1.8 G5 PowerMac to the line (Welcome Back) of Dual 1.8/2.0/2.5’s without a steady supply.

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