AMD sued over allegedly defective chipsets


— 3:00 PM on January 4, 2012

Looks like AMD has yet another problem to contend with: a lawsuit from the world's biggest contract manufacturer of notebooks. Bloomberg reports that Quanta Computer has sued AMD in a federal court in California, alleging that the chipmaker peddled defective chipsets. Among other things, Quanta claims "breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract:"

AMD and its ATI Technologies Inc. unit sold chips that didn’t meet heat tolerances and were unfit for particular purposes, Taoyuan, Taiwan-based Quanta claimed yesterday in a federal court filing in San Jose, California. The chips were used in notebooks Quanta made for NEC Corp. (6701) and caused the computers to malfunction, according to the filing.

According to CNet News' coverage, the chipset Quanta in question is the RS600ME. Wikipedia tells me the RS600 was released by ATI in the summer of 2006, before AMD completed its acquisition of ATI, and was designed to accommodate Intel Core 2 and Pentium 4 processors. (Yes, ATI made chipsets for Intel CPUs back then.) I assume the RS600ME is a mobile variant of the same silicon.

So, you know, the hardware involved is a several years old. Folks with recent AMD laptops probably have nothing to worry about.

AMD, for its part, says Quanta's claims are entirely baseless. "AMD is aware of no other customer reports of the alleged issues with the AMD chip that Quanta used," a spokesman for the chipmaker told Bloomberg. "In fact, Quanta has itself acknowledged to AMD that it used the identical chip in large volumes in a different computer platform that it manufactured for NEC without such issues."

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