Intel, AMD in licensing brawl over GlobalFoundries

Intel has formally accused AMD of breaching the two companies’ 2001 cross-licensing agreement. This development probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Intel questioned the legality of AMD’s foundry spin-off way back in October last year. Now that AMD’s former manufacturing business is finally operating as a separate company—GlobalFoundries—Intel has taken action.

Here’s why Intel thinks AMD is breaching the agreement:

Intel believes that Global Foundries is not a subsidiary under terms of the agreement and is therefore not licensed under the 2001 patent cross-license agreement. Intel also said the structure of the deal between AMD and ATIC breaches a confidential portion of that agreement. Intel has asked AMD to make the relevant portion of the agreement public, but so far AMD has declined to do so.

Intel adds that it has “attempted to address [its] concerns with AMD without success since October,” and the alleged breach could lead Intel to take away AMD’s licensing rights. However, the company says it is “willing to find a resolution.”

What does AMD have to say about all this? The firm responded with the following statement:

Intel’s action is an attempt to distract the world from the global antitrust scrutiny it faces. Should this matter proceed to litigation, we will prove not only that Intel is wrong, but also that Intel fabricated this claim to interfere with our commercial relationships and thus has violated the cross-license.

According to AMD’s form 8-K filing, Intel isn’t kidding about taking away AMD’s license—it “purports to terminate [AMD]’s rights and licenses under the Cross License in 60 days if the alleged breach has not been corrected.” Naturally, AMD doesn’t think it’s doing anything wrong. As a matter of fact, the smaller company thinks Intel has violated the agreement by making those threats:

[AMD] maintains that Intel’s purported attempt to terminate [AMD]’s rights and licenses under the Cross License itself constitutes a material breach of the Cross License by Intel[,] which gives [AMD] the right to terminate Intel’s rights and licenses . . . while retaining [AMD]’s rights and licenses under the Cross License Agreement.

Judging by the wording of that sentence, it seems like AMD thinks it’s entitled to take away Intel’s x86-64 license while continuing to make x86 processors. Intel currently uses AMD’s x86-64 technology in all shipping Pentium and Core processors, while AMD, naturally, uses Intel’s x86 tech in all of its PC processors.

Comments closed
    • blubje
    • 11 years ago

    1. Take OpenSPARC.
    2. Improve performance of 64-bit operations.
    3. ???
    4. Profit.

      • FubbHead
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, or something. Perhaps time to start trying to gain support for moving the market away from x86, and let Intel have x86 for itself.

      Especially now that Mac runs on it. It’s defiled. 🙂

      • dustyjamessutton
      • 11 years ago

      Hahahaha! Gnomes are funny! If they could improve 64-bit, well, that would be something….

    • ClickClick5
    • 11 years ago

    Ah, this reminds me of two middle school kids fighting over who owns the iPod.

    Huh.

    With the size of Intel’s wallet, they should (but they wont for legal issues) not care about what AMD is doing. Now if AMD suddenly started cranking in millions beacues of the spin off, then Intel can get scared. But with the factory being off set from AMD’s foundry and out of Intel’s original sight, this, I beleve, bothers intel to no end.

    Do I smell fear?

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Smells like standard contract negotiations to me.

    • green
    • 11 years ago

    l[

    • pogsnet
    • 11 years ago
    • pogsnet
    • 11 years ago
    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder if I only have a few month to buy a Phenom II?

      • khands
      • 11 years ago

      Not until the litigation has finished, and that will take a heck of a long time.

    • Wintermane
    • 11 years ago

    I see your all missing the point entirely.

    Intel already tried to talk it out with amd. Its now almost beyond that stage.

    Intel has to vigorously protect its rights or else it looses them. So yes they have to fight this little battle if for no other reason then to solidly define exactly what amds and intels rights are on this matter. It doesnt realy cost intel anyway as they already are paying an army of laywers all the time anyway. This is what they do and why they get paid.

    Some sort of agreement will be reached sooner or later and likely none of us will give a flaming aardvark 6 seconds later.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 11 years ago

      Screw Intel and its rights. They’ve pushed x86 into every stupid thing they can, the ISA ought to be opened up at this point. I’m calling it a standard. No company should be allowed to control computing.

        • skagon
        • 11 years ago

        I couldn’t agree more. The x86 ISA is the market standard, it has been so for a long time, and it’s high time someone took care of Intel’s bullying of other companies, trying to do their own implementations, and especially AMD, which has been there since the beginning.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Bake me a cake! No, give me chocolate with a cherry center filling! Now that everyone is addicted to this delicious chocolate cherry cake, give it to me for free!

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 11 years ago

            That’s completely irrelevent, nothing to do with the topic at hand.

            • Crayon Shin Chan
            • 11 years ago

            Idiot, he’s obviously referring to AMD.

    • pullmyfoot
    • 11 years ago

    This just makes me hate Intel even more.. I hope VIA makes something to trash Intel in their netbook market.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Why?

    • zagortenay
    • 11 years ago

    The best antitrust law is the end user…or it should be the end user, but seeing so many sheep loving to be milked by Intel, I am not quite sure.
    For god’s sake, peple should at least stop licking the knife of the butcher named Intel. Even sheep wouln’t do that! This is so disgusting.

    • zagortenay
    • 11 years ago

    The best antitrust law is the end user…or it should be the end user, but seeing so many sheep loving to be milked by Intel, I am not quite sure.
    For god’s sake, people should at least stop licking the knife of the butcher named Intel. Even sheep wouldn’t do that! This is really disgusting…

    • pluscard
    • 11 years ago

    There is little question that AMD is building momentum, from their gpus, to their chipsets, and last but not least, the Phenom II at 3.2ghz – (everyone read the “overclocks thru 4ghz” article right?).

    Meanwhile INTC is embroiled in antitrust… the EU right now, and the AMD civil suit next year.

    INTC needs to stop AMD’s momentum, and stop it now. If you read the yahoo message board – the AMD bashers are saying INTC will sue customers who purchase AMD parts build with out the x-license. BS, everyone agrees, but will it serve to slow uptake of AMD’s parts?

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s all just more fuel for the eventual antitrust settlement.

    Plus

      • SPOOFE
      • 11 years ago

      Sure, AMD’s gaining momentum, but if they’re doing so by violating their contracts, they shouldn’t be allowed to do so.

      • Convert
      • 11 years ago

      q[< There is little question that AMD is building momentum <]q It's called gravity. The only sure thing for AMD at this point is terminal velocity IMO.

    • pogsnet
    • 11 years ago
      • SPOOFE
      • 11 years ago

      What is the functional, observable difference between a company that “wants a monopoly” and “wants to do well”? Just curious.

        • Smurfer2
        • 11 years ago

        I think a company that has a monopoly is doing very well!

        On a more serious note, if such a line exists, it is very fine. Most companies would prefer a monopoly over competition. 🙂

          • SPOOFE
          • 11 years ago

          I’m just saying that a lot of the behaviors associated with a company that “just wants a monopoly” can also be applied to a company that “just wants to do well”. I’m not saying that Intel hasn’t abused their market dominance or anything, only that one shouldn’t dismiss the merit (if any) of their complaint based on that alone.

    • pluscard
    • 11 years ago

    A few things we can probably agree on:

    1. Intel is very concerned that AMD may be able to crank out a lot of parts from the arab funded fabs.

    2. Intel is in a very difficult position right now after Japan, Korea and the EU have found them in violation of their respective countries fair trade laws.

    3. Intel no longer enjoys the competitive advantage it had when it was core2 vs. X2, and will have to fight for each design win.

    4. In a downturn – value parts are key, and AMD is currently shipping at roughly 1/2 the ASP of INTC.

    5. INTC need to take action now to spook the oems from big committments to AMD’s, especially with new fabs coming on line.

    Plus

      • Convert
      • 11 years ago

      1. If by very concerned you mean with the same concern as they have always had, as in very little. I will explain why further down.

      2. Why?

      3. According to the benchmarks they are still far enough ahead to not really care.

      4. Intel has plenty of value parts. Plus at any moment they could undercut AMD if they wanted.

      5. Intel should always be trying to do this. It’s such a cheap and effective way to give AMD issues.

      You have two glasses of water, one has a very small amount of water in it and the other is full. Water is water. When the sun comes out which will evaporate first? The one and only thing that can help AMD is a superior product. If they try to play the bargain game with an inferior product they only live to fight another day, if they are lucky. Amazingly it’s that simple. Anything AMD can do Intel can do better in this situation and in the case of water, or money here, Intel has the ability to simply outlast AMD in any conceivable situation.

      If AMD comes out with a superior product (a combination of faster, cheaper to make, draws less power and puts off less heat, performs better, sells for less, more attractive features) then the story changes. Suddenly they can turn the tables and the only thing keeping Intel alive is their enormous bank account. They also need to meet a combination of the above expectations for each target audience; consumer server and mobile for it to be an accelerated victory.

    • Suspenders
    • 11 years ago

    I always figured that Intel would try and kill AMD with the cross-licensing bludgeon if AMD ever tried to declare bankruptcy. I never expected it to become before, largely because it would be such a complex case that a (presumably) bankrupt company wouldn’t be able to really fight (so it would be better for Intel to fight it then).

    Well, I guess I can’t wait for the next podcast now 😉

    • Necro1357
    • 11 years ago

    As long as the parent company has more than 50% of the voting stock in the subsidiary, it has control. In the case of a foreign subsidiary, the company under which the subsidiary is incorporated must adhere to the laws of the country in which the subsidiary operates, although the parent company still carries the foreign subsidiary’s financials on its books (consolidated financial statements).

    AMD doesn’t own 50% of the foundry…full stop. As a result, this would constitute giving IP to another without an agreement.

      • AMDisDEC
      • 11 years ago

      This is correct!
      Last I heard, AMD gave up additional stock which placed it’s holdings around 30%. They are a minority shareholder.
      It appears in another year or two Foundry investors may end up with the rest of AMD if the US state department allows it.

        • jdaven
        • 11 years ago

        What about when AMD used Charter Semiconductor as a third party supplier of X86 chips? AMD doesn’t own any of this company, yet Charter received manufacturing rights to make 65 nm SOI X86 processors. The only hurdle was clearing the technology transfer with Germany not Intel.

        Intel did not make a stink about that Charter deal but it is the same thing if AMD outsourced chips to Global Foundries. Or are you guys going to tell me that the terms of the licensing agreement say that x% of AMD chips must be made by AMD owned fabs but x% can be made by another fab. I don’t think this is the case.

        It is more likely the case that Intel is using it’s legal force to try and hurt AMD more and not some kind of illegal technology transfer that breaks licensing deals. Intel knows that AMD can become profitable again if it spins of all its manufacturing and it doesn’t like it.

          • Necro1357
          • 11 years ago

          I think that cross license agreement precisely says what percentage of parts AMD can make at 3rd parties. If the Foundry is determined to be a 3rd party, since it is not a subsidiary, this is a big problem for them.

          If they cannot produce any parts from internal fabs – because they no longer have any internal fabs… well, you get the idea.

          This is how Charter Semi was OK, and why the Foundry might not.

    • SoulSlave
    • 11 years ago

    There are many more parties involved in this sh!thole than just Intel and AMD, and a lot less important to GlobalFoundries than one might think.

    First, there´s far too much pressure from other companies to maintain a kind of balance between them both, I mean, you might not want a single source for CPUs, but you will only buy ONE, a company like DELL buys millions of those every year. Let~s not forget how AMD got their hands on the x86 license in the first place.

    Also as the name of the agreement says, it´s a cross-licensing agreement, and as such it touches more technology than we can imagine, for instance, not only x86-64 is a AMD technology, but also the foundations for the Core i7 ´´new“ architecture, sure Intel developed QPI and stuff, but AMD came up with the concept long before (for x86 CPUs might I add), and there´s also IMC, Coll´n´Quiet, HyperTransport, etc…
    And many other technologies most of us don’t even know of…

    As for the part where I say it´s not as big for GF as one might think, I meant that IF (and I´m not saying they will) Intel cancels the deal, and AMD goes out of business (let´s face it, they won´t) GF woul remain as a leading edge technology Foundry Company, still able to compete with all the major Silicon foundries around the world (even IBM, as it´s the only other MAJOR company to adopt SOI)…

    As much interesting as this might be (I really think so) I think it´s highly unlikely the the situation will change significantly. From my point of view, Intel is just trying to gain some leverage and force AMD to drop a few lawsuits…

    Still, I´m kind of looking forward for the outcome…

    • WaltC
    • 11 years ago

    I think this action on Intel’s part is simply going to add fuel to the fire that Intel is prepared to suffer AMD’s market presence provided AMD stays in its own little sand box and never dares actually to compete with Intel for market share. Intel’s attitude towards AMD in this regard has never changed. Intel and AMD executed a cross-licensing agreement years ago. It’s too bad if Intel wants to fantasize that AMD has actually sold itself to another company just because AMD’s been able to raise a ton of money. Obviously, Intel does not like this latest move by AMD, and this in itself proves that at the least the move has sufficiently rattled Intel’s cage. Had it not done so, I’d have expected Intel to ignore the whole event.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    This seems like the biggest game of chicken ever. If I recall rightly, both companies hold essential patents to manufacture chips as it’s currently done. I’m sure that Intel or AMD could eventually come up with a chip that doesn’t violate any patents fromt he other party but it’d be a royal PITA for them. So in effect this is just sabre rattling isn’t it?

    • AMDisDEC
    • 11 years ago

    It seems that as usual, AMD requires Intel licenses much more than Intel requires AMDs.
    Intel can continue to manufacture 32-bit and even 64-bit processors without AMD licensing, but AMD cannot produce any x86 chips without Intel’s.
    Looks like the Arabs are caught in the middle and may have to cough up some serious dough to appease Intel.

      • Hattig
      • 11 years ago

      Or simply win the case if the agreement is valid and they’re not breaking anything.

      Then AMD can pretty much demand what it likes for Intel to keep x86-64. Presumably the removal of all restrictions on its license for one, maybe even fees for licensing x86-64, possibly high fees with the treat of the dropping AMD’s anti-trust case. Or AMD could play hardball – no x86-64 license. In the long run this probably isn’t in AMD’s best interests, Intel would be forced to do what it does best – innovate under duress.

      Of course, the other way AMD is totally screwed.

        • AMDisDEC
        • 11 years ago

        At this point, I think that Intel just may be right and AMD & Foundry are screwed.
        AMD is a minority shareholder in the Foundry and so the Foundry is a majority owned entity of the UAE investors. This would, I would think, violate the Intel/AMD licensing.
        The AMD x86-64 licenses are only extensions which in time, Intel could work around, while the x86 licenses are foundational, and AMD has little chance of duplicating or getting around.
        AMD is in a bad spot, and their only hope is that it’s UAE saviors will come up with a bunch of loot to kick in Intel’s direction.

          • WaltC
          • 11 years ago

          Nah…;) AMD still owns 100% of AMD. Global Foundries, of course, is a spin off of AMD, and a new and separate company wholly distinct and apart from AMD; a new company that operates apart from AMD and does not replace AMD–much as TSMC operates for various companies as a FAB and yet does not replace them. Intel’s agreement is with AMD and AMD hasn’t gone anywhere or changed ownership in any fashion.

          Though AMD is still 100% owned and operated by AMD, even in the Global Foundry spin off, AMD controls 50% of the voting stock in that company–so no matter how you slice or dice it, AMD is still in the driver’s seat all the way around, whether its in AMD or the Global Foundries. This boneheaded move by Intel makes exactly as much sense as Intel complaining that because AMD might use TSMC to produce some AMD chips that in the process AMD forfeits its x86 license….;) In short, it’s ridiculous.

          So why is Intel pursuing such a ridiculous proposition? Aside from being yet more proof that Intel has more money than brains at times, and aside from the fact that this notion seems to strengthen AMD’s claims as to Intel’s monopoly death wish, the question is very interesting in terms of the cross-licensing agreement between the two companies. This agreement provides AMD with the rights to the design and manufacturing of x86 cpus in general, while at the same time AMD provides Intel with the rights to the design and manufacture of x86-64 cpus in general. (Core 2 and Phenom II being respective examples of each companies’ x86-64 cpus.)

          My guess here is that Intel is formulating its own “asset smart” strategy for the future and that as AMD has beat them to the punch by several years, most likely, Intel would like to try and slow the process down for AMD until it has time to catch up by making similar moves itself. Intel has to know that attempting to rescind AMD’s x86 license on such a flimsy pretext is doing little other than saving AMD the trouble of proving the factual basis behind the ongoing AMD-Intel antitrust lawsuits around the world. I’m not sure what Intel wants out of all of this ruckus, but it’s for sure Intel doesn’t want the thing it cannot have, which is a recension of AMD’s x86 license. That prospect is equally as likely as Intel being ordered to cease manufacture of all x86-64 Intel cpus and paying AMD copious damages for the x86-64 cpus Intel has sold to date. Such an outcome would effectively destroy the industry for both players.

          None of this is ever going to happen, so it’s going to be really interesting to discover what Intel actually wants here, if indeed the whole dog and pony show is meant to do more than to slow AMD’s momentum so as to give Intel room to catch up in terms of manufacturing and production strategy.

            • SPOOFE
            • 11 years ago

            /[

            • charged3800z24
            • 11 years ago

            I remember reading on here I believe, that Intel wants to use the global economy downturn to their advantage to further extend thier lead on AMD. I believe this is a stepping stone in them doing so. Find away to destract focus and bleed more money from AMD while also probably making it to where AMD cannot use the x86 license. This will obviously help Intel Extend their lead over AMD. I am not saying Intel does not have a right to persue this. I just believe Intel knows this will most likely hurt AMD regaurdless of outcome.

            • Trymor
            • 11 years ago

            I personally don’t believe intel would want to revoke AMD’s x86 license simply because that would make them, beyond a shadow of a doubt (at least in my mind), a monopoly – thus opening a whole other can of worms.

            • WaltC
            • 11 years ago

            Well, I think the point is that AMD is still AMD, and that the spin-off of Global Foundries doesn’t change that at all. Intel’s agreement is with AMD, and as AMD still exists, has not been sold in either part or parcel to any third party, and since AMD, not Global Foundries, or any other FAB in the world, retains full ownership of the IP cross-licensed with Intel in the original Intel-AMD cross-licensing agreement, it’s truly difficult to see how Intel might arrive at such a conclusion.

            Again, to my knowledge here, AMD is still the company which holds the licensing inherent in the cross-licensing agreement it made with Intel. People seem to keep confusing AMD with the FABs that AMD hires to manufacture its chips–of which now Global Foundries is simply one more such fab–the only distinction being that AMD also owns some of this FAB and effectively controls 50% of the voting stock of this FAB. The IP in question does not belong to the FAB, it belongs to AMD. It’s just like Intel hiring a 3rd-party FAB to manufacture a chip to which Intel is the sole owner of the IP–just because the FAB is paid to manufacture the IP in a chip does not provide the FAB with any ownership of that IP.

            OK, so ostensibly on the surface Intel is saying that AMD agreed not to engage in partially owned FABs as a prerequisite to Intel sharing the license for x86. However, on the face of it–that’s ridiculous–since at the time AMD originally started making x86 cpus of its own design it was even then using FABS other than those exclusively owned by AMD, and of course in that process Intel saw nothing that threatened its agreement with AMD.

            Basically, what’s happening here is Intel doesn’t like the fact that AMD is teaming up with some partners in the FAB business who have very deep pockets, and who accordingly Intel views as a direct competitive threat. That’s completely understandable from Intel’s rather myopic point of view, but it isn’t understandable at all by the courts and peoples around the world who want to see free and unfettered competition between AMD and Intel.

            Pretty much this seems yet-another-case of Intel attempting to dictate to AMD (ho-hum, again!) what the size and nature of its competition to Intel may be. I think that we are long past the days where this kind of wink/back-slapping nepotism is acceptable.

            AMD is simply far too large and successful these days to endure this kind of patronizing as it was forced to endure it in the past. Just as AMD’s x86-64 cross-licensing agreement with Intel does not pretend to dictate to Intel the micromanagement by which Intel will be permitted to compete with AMD, so is AMD free of similar kinds of patronage when it comes to Intel. Uncle Intel simply doesn’t own the show and call all of the shots anymore, and it’s obvious that Uncle Intel is having a slow and difficult time in absorbing the current market realities with respect to international x86 cpu manufacture in general. In short, x86 outgrew Intel long ago, but Intel it seems is the very last to know…;)

            • SPOOFE
            • 11 years ago

            It all hinges on whether or not there’s a clause preventing AMD from allowing certain intellectual properties to directly leave their hands, or somesuch. I dunno. I’m hearing all sorts of talk about confidential this and monopoly that when everything really is all about the contract.

            • Fighterpilot
            • 11 years ago

            l[

            • AMDisDEC
            • 11 years ago

            Show your right!
            Intel needing to catch up to AMD is a joke at best.
            Real men have fabs and AMD ain’t got one, which means their licensing agreement with Intel restricting outside wafer percentages will be impacted.
            Not to mention the shell which is now AMD has absolutely no chance in hell of competing with Intel from a technology standpoint.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    Somewhere in the midst of all this, I know Hector Ruiz is too blame.

      • AMDisDEC
      • 11 years ago

      Of course it is Ruiz’s fault. His incompetent leadership has forced AMD to violate the Sanders rule, Only real men have fabs.

        • shank15217
        • 11 years ago

        How much is Intel paying you per post? 5c or 10c?

          • AMDisDEC
          • 11 years ago

          50 cent of course

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Rock-em, sock-em robots to rock em, possibly sock em, until corporate demigod masters get bored and go back to mommy for a juice box break, claim reliable sources

    • MrPippy
    • 11 years ago

    How entangled are Intel’s x86 license and AMD’s x86-64 license?

    In other words, could AMD still make x86-64 processors to run pure 64-bit code without using any parts of Intel’s x86 tech?
    There would be a lot of practical issues with it (namely, breaking compatibilty with BIOS, bootloaders, and all the other 32-bit legacy code), but if this case goes Intel’s way, AMD might not have another choice.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Unlikely. The patents cover thing like the page table register structures which x86 established and which x64 extended. There’s almost certainly one (and likely several) patents without which x64 wouldn’t function. In any case, how commercially viable would it be if it could only run 64bit software, and not any existing 32bit software? Most Windows x64 systems today run mostly 32bit apps.

      There are of course work-arounds via emulation and what not (ie the Transmeta route) but AMD doesn’t have the luxury of being able to sit around for a couple of years redesigning its processor while being unable to sell any of its current CPUs.

      But this is all posturing anyway. Intel threatens to take away the biggest toy it controls, so AMD threatens to take away the biggest toy /[

      • AMDisDEC
      • 11 years ago

      No, this is incorrect. x86-64 as extensions to x86 foundations. Without the foundation licenses, AMD cannot do squat in x86 land except maybe manufacture a co-processor that adds x86-64 to existing 32-bit Intel chips.

    • Perezoso
    • 11 years ago

    Intel does as much damage as Microsoft if not more. It should have been cut into pieces at least a decade ago. Antitrust law is a joke.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      If anything, Microsoft has developed or innovated more than anyone else.

      • Grigory
      • 11 years ago

      Damage? What the hell are you talking about? Without those two companies humanity would still be in the informational stone age.

        • tfp
        • 11 years ago

        haha whatever, someone else would have stepped up if they never had existed.

          • Kurotetsu
          • 11 years ago

          And they’d probably be just like what Microsoft and Intel are today.

        • Hattig
        • 11 years ago

        Not really. Other operating systems and other CPUs were better than the 8086 + DOS option that eventually grew into the dominant platform in the mid 90s. By the mid 80s we had the 68000 + Mac OS or 68000 + AmigaOS. Z8000 + CPM/16 even, at that time. IBM made both Intel and Microsoft. The other thing that Intel did was release newer CPUs at reasonable prices – Motorola didn’t, and Zilog made a chip so complex to program that people’s brains imploded. Intel did a lot of work. Microsoft rode a wave.

    • SPOOFE
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t like it. Intel makes a bunch of very specific claims; AMD’s response is basically “Intel was a jerk in this completely different case” and “They’re lying.” Intel’s specific claims can be examined for accuracy, but AMD’s retort has no substance whatsoever. This may be because Intel really is fabricating all this as a “distraction” or whatever, but if there’s validity to Intel’s accusations then AMD can’t simply hand-wave it away.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    I do like the picture that accompanies this article. The giant glowing ball logo rolling across the technology park like some kind of crazy end stage of Katamari Damacy.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Er, does that make Hector Ruiz the King of All Cosmos?

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        got drunk and broke the universe? yeah, sounds right.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      Katamari AMDamacy 🙂

    • srg86
    • 11 years ago

    As they are using bits of each other’s IPs, I think this will go like the previous law suits, ending up in a new licensing agreement.

    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    Pop some popcorn and snuggle up on the couch this is going to be good. This has been brewing for years. AMD with it’s anti-competitive lawsuit against Intel, and now this. AMD’s suit is mostly won, but Intels new suit could really make things interesting. AMD’s next line of Phenom II are coming out soon and AMD doing better in terms of sales. Intel’s feeling the pinch from Netbook sales pulling out the rug from the I7’s anticipated sales. The market is changing and it favors AMD in the terms that people are spending less. Intel has a lot more to lose than AMD and that’s why this is going to be so good. If Intel wins the consumer will lose, if AMD holds it ground Intel will suffer a large drop in sales and the giant of the company will fall. Any sort of drop in sales from Intel and it will have to make major cutt backs and Intel will loose all sorts of momentum just to save it’s cash. The middle ground is what we all will hope for but even that could really hurt the Intel giant. Hehe that’s at least how I see it.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    heh, intel knowingly waited for the plant to start up. secondly, if amd eventually starts production of their own non-x86 architecture, the licensing fees on amd chips chips would definitely reduce pricing, and give away what the licensing fee really is. If NV teams up with AMTI, intel better pray that their video cards can perform just as well, or else they will end up like Cyrix! LOL!

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      What? No “plants” have started up. It’s just a transfer of assets — existing fabs under a new name that have been running continuously this entire time.

      And I can’t parse what you’re trying to say wrt non-x86 processors. Plenty of those already exist, and at the low end they’re mostly ARM derivatives (such as nVidia’s Tegra). AMD could do something like that as well — but they just go through selling off all their handheld assets to Qualcomm, so they’ve eliminated some of the value they could add to such a design. AMD seems to be focused on x86 and only x86.

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    Firstly, this will drag through the courts for 10 years, and probably will depend on the outcome of the AMD case against Intel for anticompetitive behaviour, which has been dragging on for years yet. If Intel were anticompetitive, then this AMD foundry split could be a direct result of that behaviour.

    In addition, Intel has a lot to lose if they can’t sell AMD64 / x86-64 CPUs right at the time when the market is just about to en-masse move to 64-bit with Windows 7.

    Ultimately it will be a legal pissing match that makes some lawyers very rich.

    Meanwhile ARM will probably get to 2GHz by 2010, 3GHz by 2012, and all with increasing IPC and software support. Of course ARM’s 64-bit variant needs to be defined or worked on. Maybe someone could resurrect Alpha :p

    • d0g_p00p
    • 11 years ago

    How is this not a anti trust or a monopoly case?

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      What makes you think so? This is a patent licensing case, and both parties contributed IP. Monopolies aren’t ipso facto illegal. It’s your behavior once you have a monopoly that gets you into trouble. It’s also possible to get into trouble by doing illegal things to obtain a monopoly (dumping, for example) but ending up with a monopoly because your former competitor breached their contract with you wouldn’t constitute that (and that’s what Intel is claiming here). Presumably an unwinding of the deal that created GlobalFoundries would satisfy Intel, since AMD would be back in a corporate configuration it didn’t complain about before. In that event Intel would still have a competitor (a very wounded one, of course) so Intel can claim they’re not trying to obtain a monopoly through this action, just demanding that AMD satisfy its contractual obligations.

      That said, Intel already has anti-trust authorities looking at it in multiple countries. Depending on how this case goes, it might contribute to any one of those.

        • d0g_p00p
        • 11 years ago

        I guess I sort of see it as the auto industry, or really any industry. What if only one company can build cars, build microwaves, washing machines, etc?

        What would happen is Intel decided to yank everyones x86 license and be the only company that could build x86 ISA CPU’s I know it’s more detailed than that but it’s the question I wonder.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    AMD loses x86 license and Intel loses x86-64? Say it ain’t so.

      • Hattig
      • 11 years ago

      Maybe AMD could turn off 32-bit support in their chips, forcing 64-bit Windows on their systems. In the meantime Intel can remove 64-bit support and remain in a 32-bit rut of irrelevance.

      They’re way too cross-licensed for such a simplistic outcome to occur. But if it could …

      As regards the legal snippet below – anyone trained enough to be able to correlate it against the AMD Global Foundries set up? I mean, surely it’s solid gold for AMD if they win this with Intel losing their x86-64 license? With a court case win behind them, HP, Dell, Sun, etc, simply can’t risk selling Intel systems with 64-bit enabled.

      Is AMD’s long play that long? Kill off Itanium (cheap x86-64). Force Intel to license x86-64. Wait. When Intel do the bully action, tear their bread and butter from underneath them, and Intel have no standby in Itanium to switch to.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Intel is unlikely to lose access to x86-64, and if it came to that it would be a patent-by-patent fight through the pieces (much of which are fairly obvious extensions of things Intel did first, and patented, so it would come down to a lot of messy expert testimony). But “taking away 64bit’ is the biggest club AMD can wield, so that’s what they’re going to lead with in any countersuit.

        As you said in another post, this is a pissing match that only serves to enrich the lawyers (and since Intel has more money for lawyers, it’s a pissing match they think is worth starting). This will drag on for a while but likely won’t have any material effect on those of us who just use the technology. (Of course other issues — like an AMD bankruptcy or a major anti-trust loss by Intel — could ultimately have a greater effect).

        • grantmeaname
        • 11 years ago

        Itanium isn’t x86 compatible. What do you mean?

          • jabro
          • 11 years ago

          I assume Hattig is trying to say that Intel would be foolish to do anything that resulted in loosing the right to make x86-64 compatible processors, because Intel does not have anything that can replace x86-64 (like Itanium).

          • eofpi
          • 11 years ago

          Itanium actually had an x86 compatibility mode (I think it was emulated, but I’m not certain on the specifics). But that’s beside the point; what Hattig meant was that, with Itanium dead, Intel wouldn’t have any 64-bit chips if AMD managed to yank the x86-64 license out from under them.

          Whether AMD actually pulling the license would be a good thing or not is a rather different matter, though. Sure, AMD would have a de facto 64-bit desktop/mobile/entry-server monopoly for a while. But Intel could spin out their own 64-bit x86 extension within less than a year, and it’d turn into a bigger, uglier, and even less compatible version of SSE$n vs. 3DNow! $version. And that all presumes that Intel isn’t able to somehow undermine x86-64 for AMD (as others have suggested).

      • Stranger
      • 11 years ago

      I don’t think this is something that either company can walk away from. if it goes to court Intel loses or AMD loses, I doubt both would lose.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    I’m no lawyer, but I sure as hell saw this coming. Hopefully AMD’s lawyers did as well.

    • _Sigma
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t see how it is in Intel’s best interest to attempt to kill off their largest competitor and effectively bring about a complete monopoly. Won’t antitrust, etc suites be falling from the sky if that happens?

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Who says their intent here is to kill off AMD?

        • _Sigma
        • 11 years ago

        By threatening to withdrawal their x86 license , I’d say that’s a pretty clear indication. x86 is a big part of AMD.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 11 years ago

      Sure, but I don’t think that is enough reason to not constantly pursue it. When it comes to doing business in the U.S., a monopoly position seems to be the benchmark by which all other degrees of success are measured…

      • Suspenders
      • 11 years ago

      No necessarily.

      Antitrust, it seems to me, has been a very quaint idea over the last few decades. I can’t even remember the last time a corp was split up, and the last corp that I do know was split up (Ma Bell) was allowed to practically reconstitute itself with nary a whisper of opposition. If Intel does manage to finish off AMD, I really don’t see the US government doing anything about it.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    These companies are symbiotes. We can’t afford to lose either, else the world will explode.

      • Farting Bob
      • 11 years ago

      Your right we cant afford to let AMD die, but Intel sure as hell would like it. Bring on 4 year development cycles and $600 upgrades!

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Actually, an antitrust-wary Intel would like to have AMD around, just not an AMD that is capable of changing the market or derailing any of its initiatives or challenging it at the high end. An AMD that sells really cheap, low-performant processors that barely turn a profit would be fine by Intel. Heck, they’re basically encouraging other companies to become just that via the Atom SoC licensing they’re doing with TMSC. What Intel doesn’t like is losing out on very profitable server sales — as it has been since the advent of the Opteron — and having its carefully-planned product segmentation blown up (such as reserving 64bit for Itanium), and having to scramble to add features it didn’t invent.

        Intel doesn’t want AMD dead, but they want it neutered. They want it painted into a very well-defined corner that keeps it from negatively affecting their ASPs or their product plans.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I was wondering when this would come to the surface again. I expected it to happen a little sooner after GlobalFoundries was completed. Guess it’s the speed of Lawyers.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 11 years ago

    I’m pretty sure the army of attorneys behind the creation of GlobalFoundries weren’t stupid enough to leave such a gaping weakness for Intel to take advantage of. I’ve no doubt AMD will be cleared of all accusations.

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