Lawsuit alleges AMD misled buyers on Bulldozer core count


— 7:57 AM on November 6, 2015

AMD's Bulldozer CPU architecture has had a troubled history. Thanks to its unusual design, the company's top-end CPUs had difficulty competing with Intel's latest and greatest—and its troubles may not be over yet. Legal News Wire reports that a class-action lawsuit has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Jose division, alleging that AMD falsely advertised those CPUs as having more cores than they actually do.

The heart of the matter is the Bulldozer architecture itself. Bulldozer modules combine two integer cores with a single floating-point unit and a shared L2 cache. Multiple modules are then combined to form the CPU. According to Tony Dickey, who filed the suit on behalf of himself and other affected users, the integer cores can't operate independently. Therefore, the suit alleges, the CPUs suffer from "material performance degradation" and cannot process eight instructions simultaneously. 

Dickey's suit says the average consumer doesn't have the technical expertise to understand AMD's CPU architecture and the company didn't convey accurate specifications. Because of this knowledge gap, the suit alleges the company tricked "tens of thousands of consumers" into buying CPUs that can't perform like a "true eight-core" processor could.

The suit accuses AMD of violating two California laws and a whole host of other counts, including "false advertising, fraud, breach of express warrant, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment." He's suing for statutory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief as the court deems necessary. 

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