Resurgent Chartered to produce CPUs for Xbox 360

Chartered Friday reported that its revenue nearly doubled during the first quarter and said it will make processors for the Xbox 360 next year.

Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing has reported that its revenue nearly doubled during the first quarter and announced a deal to produce microprocessors for Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console next year.

The contract chipmaker's first-quarter revenue was $US355.2 million, up 96 per cent from the same period last year. At the same time, the company swung back into the black, reporting net income of $US25.3 million during the first quarter, compared to a loss of $US84.5 million last year.

Chartered's results were boosted by strong demand for its more advanced manufacturing technology.

"For the first time in our history, revenues from 0.13 micron and more advanced technologies contributed about 50 per cent of our total base business revenues," Chartered's senior vice-president and CFO, George Thomas, said in a statement.

The chipmaker's 90-nanometre (nm) production process, its most advanced technology, accounted for 25 per cent of revenue during the quarter, it said. In terms of capacity, Chartered's utilisation rate was 82 per cent during the first quarter, up from 59 per cent one year ago, due to higher demand for chips used in consumer electronics and communications applications, as well as a more modest increase in computer chips.

Looking ahead, Chartered expects to see its revenue increase slightly during the second quarter, to about $US363 million. The company expects to post net income of about $US16 million during the period.

Further out, Chartered announced an agreement to produce microprocessors for Microsoft's Xbox 360. Those chips, which will enter production during the first quarter of next year, will be manufactured using a 65nm production process, Chartered says.

Chartered also has an agreement to produce microprocessors for AMD. The first chips to be produced under that agreement are on track to come during the second half of this year and will be produced using a 90nm process, according to a recent statement by AMD.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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