Intel raises eyebrow over AMD foundry spin-off

When rumors about AMD's foundry business spin-off first started making the rounds, some questioned whether Intel's cross-licensing agreement with AMD would allow for such a move. In particular, The Inquirer claimed the agreement only gave AMD room to outsource 20% of its x86 CPU production.

AMD finally announced the fab spin-off yesterday, saying it plans to give Abu Dhabi firm ATIC a majority stake in a new foundry firm (temporarily called The Foundry Company) made up of its current chip manufacturing operations. You might assume AMD has been negotiating with Intel behind the scenes, but judging by what Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy has been telling Reuters, that hasn't happened:

"Intel has serious questions about this transaction as it relates to the license and will vigorously protect Intel's intellectual property rights," Mulloy said of AMD's announcement.

Mulloy said Intel has asked AMD to make the agreement public but he said it would not, so he was not at liberty to discuss the matter in detail.

The agreement gives AMD the right to make and sell its own x86 processors in exchange for royalties. AMD might have to explain itself in court if it actually decided to violate the deal, although considering Intel has come under repeated fire over alleged anti-competitive behavior, AMD may get off easy in such an event.

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