Intel reaches ‘tentative settlement’ with FTC

U.S. regulators are out busting chops lately. Just last week, Dell’s allegedly unorthodox dealings with Intel led to a $100-million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now, it’s the Federal Trade Commission’s turn to inflict punishment—this time on Intel. The chipmaker has reached a “tentative settlement” with the FTC that requires a number of changes to its business practices.

The legalese in the settlement terms (PDF) is a little tough to wade through, but from my understanding, a few things stand out:

  • Intel has to include a standard PCI Express interface in its high-volume platforms for the next six years. The chipmaker isn’t allowed to “design any Required Interface to intentionally limit the performance or operation of any Relevant GPU in a manner that would render the Required Interface non-compliant with the applicable PCIe Base Specification.”
  • Intel isn’t allowed to make any design changes to its products if those changes degrade the performance of competing products without positively impacting its own products. If such a change were to occur because of a bug, Intel would have to demonstrate that it was indeed inadvertent.
  • Within 90 days of the order becoming effective, Intel has to “Clearly and Prominently” inform customers who purchased its compilers whether those compilers “optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors.” In addition, Intel has to reimburse customers who have “detrimentally relied on Intel representations as to compiler availability, functionality, or effectiveness.”
  • Intel has to confirm that Via is allowed to make and sell x86 microprocessors, and as far as I can tell, Intel also has to extend Via’s patent licensing agreement until 2018.
  • Intel can’t offer or deny benefits to customers or end users based on their use of competing products, and it must retain “all written contracts” pertaining to the purchase and sale of relevant products for five years.
  • If one of its competitors changes ownership, Intel has to wait 30 days before initiating patent litigation, and it has to enter into “good faith negotiations regarding the future patent relationship” with that competitor.

That’s a doozy. Just like Dell with the SEC, however, Intel was able to reach this tentative settlement with the FTC without officially admitting guilt. (I’m sure Intel wrote that $1.25 billion check to AMD out of the kindness of its heart, too.)

According to Intel’s press release, the FTC settlement terms are “subject to a 30 day public comment period and final approval by the Commission.”

Comments closed
    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    I think the “I’ll agree to all of these punitive and regulatory oversights of my business, sure, but I’m not guilty!” position is really funny. It doesn’t matter a whit whether Intel “admits guilt,” what matters is that Intel’s predatory market behaviors are brought to a close, and this agreement, coupled with the AMD agreements, should do the trick. Everybody knows Intel is “guilty,” anyway, otherwise it would never have settled as it did with AMD, and it would not now be “settling” with the FTC.

    Heh, if Intel wasn’t “guilty” then there’d have been no settlement with either party mentioned above necessary, would there? Of course “admitting to no guilt” in these settlements is nowhere near the same as being found “not guilty.” The parties Intel settled with, the FTC and AMD, have simply allowed Intel to “admit no wrongdoing” even as they lifted heavily from Intel’s pocketbook and enshrined Intel with legally binding restrictions putting an end to the company’s predatory policies and outlooks. I think for a long time Intel’s chief market attitude has been “All’s fair in love and war!”–but that is soon to be a thing of the past, for good–Intel’s “guilt” not even being an issue as it was obvious beforehand.

    Does anybody remember all of the publicity Intel got several years ago when it refused to license VIA the P4 bus license–or the pressure Intel put on OEMs not to sell AMD-based products after AMD’s release of the K7? I doubt I’ll ever forget it, and at the time there was so much in the way of hard-core evidence to back up those assertions that few believed for a moment that they weren’t true. VIA finally got its license, IIRC, but Intel sure made ’em sweat and moan to get it. Intel had the OEMs hollering like stuck geese about marketing AMD-based products, and it sure seemed at the time like the OEMs had to blatantly defy Intel in order to bring their AMD-based products to launch. It was widely reported that Intel used every threat in its arsenal to keep AMD down, and then some. And of course there was the “propping up Dell” in order to obtain cpu exclusivity scandal that eventually broke, and put Dell way behind OEMs who’d been selling AMD stuff for years.

    • thermistor
    • 9 years ago

    NeelyCam to self “Dang, the reply button on my keyboard has finally worn out…” Time to start using the any key.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      The post limiter is a real turn-off

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    Page 9 of 25 of the linked document:

    “A. Respondent shall, within thirty (30) days after the date this order becomes final, for a period of not less than six (6) years,…include in each of its Mainstream Microprocessor Platforms an interface (“Required Interface”) to a standard PCI bus.

    “B. Respondent may determine the version or specification of the Standard PCI Express Bus interface (e.g., PCIe Base Specification 2.1, PCIe Base Specification 3.0) that will be included in each of its Mainstream Microprocessor Platforms subject to this provision.”

    “C. Respondent shall not design any Required Interface to intentionally limit the performance or operation of any Relevant GPU in a manner that would render the Required Interface non-compliant with the applicable PCIe Base Specification.”

    I read that as meaning that Intel cannot design the interface out of its core logic, and cannot change it in a way that makes it incompatible with the published specification. Whether and how it is physically implemented at the board level will be the provenance of the board designers just like it always has.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    #52, l[

      • NIKOLAS
      • 9 years ago

      If Intel were so clearly guilty, then the FTC wouldn’t have allowed them to settle.

      Similarly AMD wouldn’t have taken only 1.25Billion as a settlement if Intel would have been nailed big time if their ass were hauled to court.

      The fact of the matter is that all the hopes and dreams of AMD fanboys on the FTC doing terrible things to Intel have come to nought, again.

      Suck on that. LOL!!!!

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        The RDF is strong with this one.

        ‘Measly’ $1.25 billion? Then I suppose you would be logically bound against complaining that the $1.45 billion EU fine was out of line.

        And I suppose intel’s vastly successful defense against antitrust violations in the EU, Korea and Japan buoyed intel’s confidence in the US, as well? Oh wait, as I seem to recall, they lost all those cases.

        I type this on a Wolfdale desktop and I have a C2D laptop in the same room, so I am hardly an AMD fanboy.

        It is indisputable that intel’s antimonopolistic actions harmed the industry, and while it may disappoint some to see them escape justice, it’s far more important that the recent settlement curbs their ability to do so in the future, and much more expeditiously than a costly and lengthy trial would have taken. I’m sure it’s small consolation to people and corporations who have lost millions of dollars as a result of these actions over the years, though.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Intel has appealed EU’s decision, and it seemed the committee (not court) that handed out the fine was somewhat corrupted/biased, according to the EU ombudsman. The EU thing was not a “case lost”, it was a case of EU corruption that Intel is trying to correct through legal means.

          Korea/Japan fines are small enough, not worth fighting for considering lawyer fees.

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        You must not be familiar with the operations of the US legal system. This is a civil matter, and the FTC doesn’t much care whether Intel settles in advance or submits to a court judgment favorable to the FTC’s case, so long as Intel agrees to the terms and conditions the FTC wants.

        Meanwhile Intel suspects, probably correctly, that fighting the item in court will only lead to the same outcome, except with a several month’s worth of unnecessary legal distractions for their top executives and an extra few million dollars’ worth of attorney fees to pay.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    I am still amazed that some people can hate one company or its practices and yet bitterly defend other companies whose practices, whie different, are no better.

      • jdaven
      • 9 years ago

      Exactly my thoughts when I compare Intel and Apple. Both have high prices and gouge the customer. Yet somehow someone here only cries Apple tax for only one company instead of Intel tax. Now who might that someone be. Maybe someone who hates one particular company over all others and therefore becomes a hypocrite.

      Madmanoriginal, the day you start yelling Intel tax, the Intel reality distortion field, Wintelsheep, is the day I’ll start appreciating your posts more. Until then, you are the same hater that you admonish.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        But unlike you and Jobs’ genitals I don’t ride Otellini’s nuts.

    • jdaven
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, my day is going awesome!!!

    First, Intel gets smacked down by the federal government for gross and obvious abuses of its monopoly (Sorry Neelycam, but its time to get up, take your knee pads off and step away from that Intel execs ass).

    Second, the California court overturns Prop 8.

    Third, I am about to finish a grant for the NIH I’ve been working on for the last month (its due tomorrow).

    I’m going to celebrate by playing SC2 all weekend!!!

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      This is not a smack-down; Intel was not found guilty, and wasn’t fined. They are already following these guidelines more or less; this “ruling” just means more overhead. (Except for the PCIe thingy)

      Grant proposal? Care to share what it’s about… or is it a secret?

        • mesyn191
        • 9 years ago

        Anyone else wish we could voteban Neely?

        • jdaven
        • 9 years ago

        Its a secret. I will give you a hint. Its about science!

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Oh, that’s all too hard for me.

    • Game_boy
    • 9 years ago

    Oh. Yes, for that specific issue.

    They won’t get their whole chipset business back due to this though.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    Overall, most of these rules make sense as long as competitors (e.g., AMD) are also forced to follow these rules.

    However, I think the PCIe rule is stupid. I want to have an option to buy a motherboard/platform /[

      • AlvinTheNerd
      • 9 years ago

      This rule is there percisely to prevent monoply tatics by Intel.

      Intel’s biggest threat isn’t a resurgent AMD, but a GPGPU revolution lead by Nvidia. In the former case, they lose market share, in the latter, they could become outdated. In the case of a GPGPU revolution, the CPU becomes a minor player and is only there to run the OS. But because intel also makes chipsets and the only chipsets their processors work on, they could counter this by removing PCIe from their boards and effectively block GPGPU innovation.

      Plus, PCIe has two connection standards, the larger one you see on desktop boards, and a much smaller one that you see on wireless cards in laptops. Currently, you only commonly see the the x1 on the smaller connection standard, but their is no reason that the x16 standard couldn’t become mainstream since its only about 4 times the size of the x1 slot.

      And having an x16 slot all laptops is a BIG bonus. It might mean that someday, upgrading or adding a discrete GPU in a laptop is common place.

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        What about those who don’t want to “upgrade” their laptop graphics, and instead prefer not to be forced to pay extra for this option? Sorry – no dice. NVidia said you have to pay extra anyways.

        Great story.

        The Market has already decided that most mobos should have PCIe so discrete graphics could be added – show me one that doesn’t (short of some Atom/Via boards). That should be enough. But making it impossible to offer cheaper/smaller/better-integrated/weaker-performance options just because NVidia started whining means the consumer loses.

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        Techies have been harping about the GPGPU revolution for the past ten years, and yet so far, no kings have been beheaded. For a revolution, it sure is off to a slow start.

      • LSDX
      • 9 years ago

      No, it doesn’t mean every Atom mobo needs a PCIe interface, it means Intel can’t design CPU or chipsets without any PCIe connectivity.

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        Ah, I see. So, PCIe Gen1 would suffice according to this ruling.

      • mesyn191
      • 9 years ago

      PCIe slots/buses are hardly huge or expensive, they fit just fine on ITX boards along with dual DIMM slots and a full blown socket among other things.

      And how is it “stupid” for an Atom platform to have PCIe 2.0? It doesn’t necessarily use more power than PCIe 1/a, which is already part of the platform, and offers more bandwidth (which is always good) so what is your problem?

      Oh what just because _you_ don’t want to upgrade no else should be able to? Saving a buck or 2 and a few fractions of watt is really something to go ragin’ about? Really?

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        No; I meant I don’t want to be forced to have that port there if I don’t need it. It’s perfectly fine with me that there are other mobos with PCIe ports. I don’t want to force anyone into integrated graphics… they suck for gaming.

        But there are many of us that don’t use PCs for gaming, and we don’t need a PCIe port. This ruling sounds like we’ll be force-fed that port no matter what.

          • mesyn191
          • 9 years ago

          You’re just being silly, you have an irrational pet peeve, that is all.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Thank you for this clarification. I always thought I was rational, but your informative, logical and well-formulated counter-argument has made me see the light.

            • mesyn191
            • 9 years ago

            You mean post #42 right? Nothing you said hasn’t already been addressed.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Addressed by whom? You were talking about current Atom platforms – I’m thinking of future ones, where everything could be integrated on-chip, so no need for a PCIe bus at all. This “ruling” makes it impossible to try to achieve that level of integration – the PCIe bus has to be there, no matter how useful it is, if the platform is a “mainstream” platform.

            I don’t want a PCIe bus on a cell phone.

            • mesyn191
            • 9 years ago

            If its small/cheap/low power today then it’ll be more so in the future you know that right?

            Cry some more about spending a buck or 2 more and a few fractions of watt of “wasted” power why don’t you.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            You still keep missing the point, so I give up. Enjoy your new-found ‘free market’

            • mesyn191
            • 9 years ago

            Strange how all posts involving you seem to end up the same way isn’t it?

            Also there is no such thing as a free market, and never has been either.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Yes.

            Yes.

          • d0g_p00p
          • 9 years ago

          It’s not a physical port. Just a INTERFACE in the chipset. Just like how Intel has a network interface in its chipset that never gets used. Same thing.

            • My Johnson
            • 9 years ago

            LOL, and this is a tech site. Thank you for pointing out the obvious for them. I’m pouring a second drink. It takes the edge off of life.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            It’s the fifth one that really makes things better.

      • yuhong
      • 9 years ago

      This settlement says nothing about what motherboards have to offer. It only says about what the platform has to offer. Vendors are free to leave the PCIe ports disconnected if they don’t need them.

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 9 years ago

      This requires that the ports be in the chipset. The motherboard need not have them. Atom platforms likely are not “high volume” for Intel and therefore are exempt.

    • Dually
    • 9 years ago

    Oh shit! My AMD desktop just got up, walked across the room and bitch-slapped my Intel box….

    Hard core….

    • sparkman
    • 9 years ago

    No fine?

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Of course not. Intel wasn’t proven to be violating any laws/rules.

      These new “rules” aren’t changing anything – Intel has been following similar guidelines all along. There is no solid proof to say otherwise.

      The PCIe rule, though, is stupid.

        • bittermann
        • 9 years ago

        You must not have read the same article everybody else did?

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          I did, but I didn’t have pre-article bias. I’m able to think for myself and see the situation from multiple angles, instead of being fed opinions by journalists…

          /[<"(I'm sure Intel wrote that $1.25 billion check to AMD out of the kindness of its heart, too.)"<]/ Obviously, the article was biased.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 9 years ago

            No, you’re able to just shut out the rest of the world and spew misinformation when it suits your cause.

            Intel /[

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Where are the courts? Where was Intel’s fair opportunity to defend itself?

            • jdaven
            • 9 years ago

            Intel settled in almost all cases which precludes going to court. Isn’t fairly obvious to you by now, Neelycam. If this stuff ever went to trial, Intel would be nailed and even greater damages would be sought. That is WHY they setted in all cases.

            The writing is on the wall, Neelycam. Intel IS guilty and through the NUMEROUS fines and settlements, they have admitted as much even if you can’t.

            Whining about them not saying the actual words, “We are guilty.” only cements you more and more as a fanboy. And why should you give them such a free pass? Why would you want to protect such a free wielding monopoly abusing power like Intel? What are you getting out it? I just don’t get it.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            I’m pointing out that there are multiple sides to every story. Also, debating is fun, especially with people who aren’t able to do it without losing their temper.

            • jdaven
            • 9 years ago

            But we aren’t debating. There’s everyone here and you. That’s not a debate. It is generally accepted based on countless information what Intel was up to. But somehow you don’t see it.

            We can debate whether or not the government should be involved in anti-competitive behavior or whether there should be monopoly laws in the first place. We can debate laissez faire capitalism where a company should be allowed to do whatever they like.

            What we can’t debate is whether or not Intel broke the law as it currently stands. IT DID break the law. I don’t believe many here except you disagree with that. Whether or not you agree with the law is another issue.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            So, majority rules; screw the minority view – they must be wrong.

            In fact, the juries should not have to unanimously agree – it should be enough to just vote and if more than 50% think that the defendant is guilty, (s)he is guilty, end of story. Right? This is the world you’d like to live in?

            I should point out once more that at no point has Intel admitted guilt, and they have adamantly argued that they have not broken the law. They have appealed the EU decision. Do you remember the controversy about EU ignoring evidence that would be in Intel’s favor? Their own watchdog pointed that out. Yet you blindly decide that Intel is guilty.

            If EU overturns its own ruling over Intel’s appeal, will you accept that Intel was not guilty?

            • jdaven
            • 9 years ago

            I will accept that there is more room for discussion than I am giving if a court/committee/whatever overturns a previous decision. But this will not happen. The case is as clear as day and you just hope without any other evidence of vindication. Which is odd since you don’t work for Intel.

            I still don’t understand what you get out of this. You and I both know Intel is guilty of breaking monopoly law. I know you won’t admit it but we both know it to be true.

            Essentially what we are debating is keeping Intel innocent in your eyes which I’m not willing to do anymore. The lawyers of major world powers, large corporations and Intel itself have decided the outcome of this thing and you know it. Its done. You know Intel did some terrible things to preserve its marketshare against the betterment of the industry. They were in a word…anticompetitive.

            So let’s stop this charade. I know you have an Intel CPU, SSD, chipset, motherboard, whatever in your system. For some reason, you feel the need to justify spending your money with a company. Maybe you told someone in the economics class that you taught that you think anticompetitive behavior is terrible and now you have to justify Intel purchases over the years. Whatever the case maybe you have a tilted slant to all this and have shown no chance of accepting reality. Therefore I am done.

            Let’s discuss other things in the future but never again the obviousness of Intel’s anticompetitive behavior.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Ok, let’s discuss The Market. Two extremes are conceivable: a completely unregulated market in which competition is fine by any means possible. This would result in superpowerful companies, true monopolies and high prices. The other extreme is completely regulated, essentially a communist system – no competition whatsoever.

            Neither extreme is good, and anything in between is gray area. How to regulate a little bit, but not too much? How to set the rules?

            Competition with low prices has been considered perfectly fine, and this is what Intel (and AMD) have done. I don’t see how rebates are bad – they are essentially competing with prices. If the regulation experts decide that allowing the more efficient manufacturer to compete with prices hurts competition too much, so be it. Define the rules, move the regulation point – it’s all fine. But don’t claim that somebody broke the law when the law wasn’t clear.

            So, now it’s been announced that Intel cannot compete with discounts with a condition that the customer cannot buy from competition. Clear enough. But it seems to me that this has been considered to be OK before… think of Best Buy’s price matching policy. “We’ll beat or match competitors’ prices!” Do you consider this to be OK?

            Somebody tries to buy a DVD player from a mom’n’pop store around the corner, but decided to check if they could get a better price from Best Buy. The sticker price is higher at BB, but luckily they price match. Great! So, just prove that mom’n’pop store was ready to sell the DVD player at $20, and BB will match. Perfect – now you get Best Buy reward points too! Who cares about the poor mom’n’pop store that has to go out-of-business.

            Now, should this price match policy be allowed or not? Is it anti-competitive or not?

            • moriz
            • 9 years ago

            i really hate to argue with trolls, but i’ll take a crack.

            that comparison is not valid. bestbuy’s pricematching does not actively restrict the customer from buying at the mom+pop store, nor does it restrict the said store from carrying that product. what BB is doing is offering incentive to buy from them, something that is entirely legal and fair. the mom+pop store is free to offer their own incentive if they choose. the keyword here is INCENTIVE. it’s saying: “come buy from us, we can offer more than the other guy.”

            what intel had done was not merely offering incentive: it was attempting to punish their buyers (primarily OEMs and retailers) for ever buying from competitors. instead of offering incentives, intel offered large discounts that would disappear as soon as their customers buy from someone else. that’s the equivalent of intel bringing a shotgun and said to their customers: “come buy from us. we’ll give you a good deal. AND, if you ever buy from the other guy, we’ll blast your face off.”

            the difference here is pretty big. you’d have to be an utter moron to not see it.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            *yum yum yum – BURB!*

            You know, if Intel did what you claimed, then yes – you’re right that borderline anti-competitive stuff was happening. But that’s the part that is still being disputed.

            What I understood is that Intel admitted that they have competed on prices, and price matching policies were used, knowing fully well that any given OEM only needs a certain amount of CPUs. Offering a cheaper price for the whole lot if all is purchased from them could be called a rebate or volume discount or whatever, but in the end, it’s just competing with prices. The OEMs are fully free to still buy from the “other guy” if they wish, but said OEM won’t get the full discount anymore.

            How is this any different from Apple/AT&T exclusivity agreement? Or CostCo/AmericanExpress exclusivity agreement? Or any number of other similar agreements around, such as Cable/Internet/Voice bundling? This seems to be generally accepted behavior.

            In the end, all these yield cheaper prices for the consumer, at least in the short term. In the long run, they might lead to monopolies (note that Intel is /[

            • mesyn191
            • 9 years ago

            Uh they’ve been convicted several times in the last few years. The EU and Japan have both smacked them with multi billion dollar fines.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Where are the courts? Where was Intel’s fair opportunity to defend itself?

            • mesyn191
            • 9 years ago

            There were courts, they did defend themselves, they failed. Get over it.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Courts? Really? I must have missed that.. could you post a link to an article about this?

            • flip-mode
            • 9 years ago

            LOL you didn’t have a “pre-article bias” ha ha ha! OMG, that’s funny. For you to even type that, you must have been smiling to yourself.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Yeah, a little bit..

        • sparkman
        • 9 years ago

        *raises one eyebrow*

      • kc77
      • 9 years ago

      The inquirer is reporting that Intel will have to pay a whopping 10 million over two years….LOL

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    “Intel can’t offer or deny benefits to customers or end users based on their use of competing products”

    And that’s the big one.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    This article isn’t complete without NeelyCam’s commentary.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Should I put on my troll hat?

    • Damage
    • 9 years ago

    Looks like this clears the way for Nvidia to buy Via and begin offering its own integrated PC platform.

      • Game_boy
      • 9 years ago

      If they can resolve their corporate cultures. Nvidia would have to be desperate…

        • Kurotetsu
        • 9 years ago

        On top of that, how long will it take Nvidia to design and put out a competitive x86 chip? I highly doubt that Nvidia will want to use whatever VIA has right now (considering how uncompetitive they are), so they’d have redesign based on what VIA already has or design something new from the ground up. Either way Nvidia would be way behind the curve, whether its for high performance or low power.

          • Damage
          • 9 years ago

          The Nano would give Nvidia an Atom competitor almost instantly. Paired with an Ion chipset or GPU, it could be a nice little netbooky-type platform. And that chip is manufactured on a 65-nm process. A simple die shrink to 28/32 nm at GlobalFoundries or TSMC could do good things for it, and it should pair with the original Ion chipset without any further work, since can they both use the old Intel FSB protocol.

          In dual-core form, a die-shrunk Nano with Nvidia core logic and IGP should be a decent Atom/CULV/Bobcat competitor.

          That’s only a first step, but it’d be heckvua start, considering.

            • bdwilcox
            • 9 years ago

            That’s assuming, of course, VIA’s patent licenses with Intel are transferrable to a new owner; such a practice may have been specifically ruled out in the agreement. Knowing Intel’s paranoia, I don’t think it would have overlooked this possiblity with such a weak licensee as VIA.

            • mtizzle
            • 9 years ago

            A “simple die shrink” would take years. By then Intel would be several generations ahead. Not to mention integrating IP from two totally different companies is a massive undertaking.

            • yuhong
            • 9 years ago

            VIA C7/Nano do not use Intel’s FSB, sorry. They use their own V4 bus.

          • tviceman
          • 9 years ago

          Nvidia would not need a high end processor to compete in markets where the APU would be relevant.

      • can-a-tuna
      • 9 years ago

      At this rate VIA can buy nvidia and not vice versa.

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        At this rate /[

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Oh no they can’t.

          • anotherengineer
          • 9 years ago

          Well that depends, technically if Nvidia’s shareholders wanted to, I’m sure they could sell all their shares to Via for 1 cent, I mean if they wanted to, however unlikely.

          I am accepting free shares at the moment, if anyone would like to sign their shares over to me let me know 😀

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I’ll give you 50% of the shares in “josh’s loving”. my wife barely uses 10%, so the rest is free 🙂

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    Nice to see the gov doing its job.

      • SHOES
      • 9 years ago

      free enterprise ftw.

        • flip-mode
        • 9 years ago

        fairly and reasonably regulated enterprise for the real win!

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        More oil soaking plz asapg{<.<}g

      • Auril4
      • 9 years ago

      To get Intel not to commit ethics violations as part of its regular business routine.. would be like tying and alcoholic to a chair and putting a bottle of bourbon on a table in front of him.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Analogy needs helpg{<,<}g like when we understand what you mean when you type it.

        • JMccovery
        • 9 years ago

        I think it would be better said: “Expecting Intel not to commit ethics violations is like expecting the same from a career politician.”

        #19. Have you ever seen MXM/AXIOM mobile gpu cards? That’s an x16 connection, and it isn’t that large. The ruling on the PCIe connectivity has more to do with Lynnfield/Clarkdale/Pine Trail processors having low-bandwidth links to their chipset, basically, Intel can’t make a move like that again. And, if nVidia does try to buy Via, we won’t have a repeat of the AMD-GlobalFoundries vs Intel spat again.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Lynnfield/Clarkdale have integrated PCIeG2 ports – plenty of bandwidth. My concern is PineTrail and any future platform where lower-power integrated graphics make sense – now it sounds like they have to have this PCIe port hanging somewhere for no real purpose.

          Government control over engineering solutions and integration. This is stupid.

            • kc77
            • 9 years ago

            Not really. If you look at that carefully basically the FTC probably got information on Intel’s upcoming GPU/GPGPU products which probably would have forced a new specification. 16x PCIE is not saturated yet. Far from it. With every new specification there’s a new license, which if it’s not really providing any benefit other than to extract extra licensing dollars there’s a potential problem of Intel forcing mobo makers and peripheral manufactuers to pony up when they really don’t have to. You shouldn’t have to pay a new license for a nic.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 9 years ago

    Looks like this may give nVidia options for post-Pine Trail netbooks. I was kind of ticked how they really made adding a better GPU so difficult, considering how poor their own offerings are.

      • Game_boy
      • 9 years ago

      Nvidia would have to license the bus technology of any future Intel design in order to make chipsets for it. It’s still under debate whether Nvidia’s existing license covers DMI/QPI, but if they do then this seems to prevent Intel from withdrawing it. But they won’t be able to get a new license if it’s ruled they don’t have one right now.

      However that turns out though, Nvidia will find it hard to add value to Intel’s platform with a chipset, as they will have to duplicate some of Intel’s existing on-die logic. They’re better off sticking to discrete GPUs.

        • LoneWolf15
        • 9 years ago

        In this case, they’d only have to hook the GPU onto the PCIE bus of an Intel netbook chipset, wouldn’t they?

        One of the biggest issues (as I understand it) was that Intel crippled the PCIe link on Pine Trail, resulting in a lot less available bandwidth to hook on a GPU. I would think this decision paves the way to eliminate that problem, though I’m not a legal expert.

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