AMD call Intel’s bluff on x86 license threat

May 18, 2009
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Back in March, Intel accused AMD of breaching their x86 chip licensing agreement, and threatened to pull their license to produce processors if the issue wasn't addressed in sixty days.  The disagreement stemmed from AMD's spinning out of chip manufacturing as part of the Global Foundries deal; now, with those sixty days past, it turns out that AMD did precisely nothing to sate Intel's demands.

"It's one of those areas that we weren't concerned with, [and] we obviously would not have done and structured the deal the way we had, thinking there was some challenge with the licensing and structure ... You're not hearing anything about [the issue] now; we're not concerned with it." Benjamin Williams, Corporate VP and Asia-Pacific General Manager, AMD

According to Benjamin Williams of AMD Asia-Pacific, his company viewed the threat as an attempt to distract from Intel's antitrust trial.  That trial came to a surprising conclusion last week, as Intel were ordered to pay a record $1.45bn for illegally using "hidden rebates" and other tactics to prevent AMD gaining CPU market share.

Williams also suggested that the licensing agreement is more of a two-way contract than Intel might like people to think: "What [Intel] neglected to [say] is that it's a cross-license agreement, not a one-way agreement."  He claims it affects Intel's Nehalem chip architecture - as used in the Core i7 range - though did not give specific examples.

[via The Tech Report]


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