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AMD says the split into two companies doesn't interfere with the agreement

AMD and Intel are rivals in the marketplace when it comes to x86 compatible CPUs and graphics processors. AMD and Intel have a cross-license agreement in place that allow AMD to use Intel IP to build x86 compatible processors.

On October 7, AMD announced that it was splitting its holdings into two separate companies. AMD will continue as a designer of CPUs and GPUs. The other company is called The Foundry and will be responsible for manufacturing chips for AMD and other companies.

The new company starts with AMD's chip fabs and the chipmaker will retain a 44.4% stake in The Foundry. The remaining 55.6% of The Foundry will be owned by a pair of Abu Dhabi companies that together invested $5.7 billion.

BetaNews reports that Intel issued a statement saying that it will be investigating whether or not the split of AMD and AMD's resulting minority stake in The Foundry violates the heavily redacted licensing agreement that allows AMD to design and manufacture x86 compatible CPUs.

The issue in the eyes of Intel is that the original licensing agreement granted AMD a non-exclusive, non-transferable license for x86 technology. Intel feels that with AMD splitting in two and now only owning a minority stake in The Foundry where Intel's IP will be used will not give AMD the control over the IP as stipulated by the agreement.

Intel's Chuck Malloy told BetaNews, "We have an obligation to our shareholders that we protect our intellectual property. We want to make sure their interests have been taken into consideration."

AMD for its part believes that it is not in violation of licensing agreements in place between it and Intel. AMD's Michael Silverman told BetaNews, "We are completely confident the structure of this transaction takes into account our cross-license agreements. Rest assured, we plan to continue respecting Intel's intellectual property rights, just as we expect them to respect ours."

According to eWeek, Hans Mosesmann, a financial analyst with Raymond James, believes that Intel could use the split of AMD and transfer of its IP to The Foundry to pressure AMD to drop long-standing lawsuits it has against Intel.

Mosesmann wrote, "AMD, in our view, is likely violating the Intel x86 cross-license, but we suspect Intel may look the other way as it benefits Intel to have an AMD that will over time have increasing variable costs (good for ASPs). Intel may choose to entice AMD to drop the anti-trust suits against Intel in return for this altruistic gesture.”

It appears that Intel is pressuring AMD to release a non-redacted version of the licensing agreement to the public, at this point only the heavily redacted version is available. AMD maintains that releasing a non-redacted version of the license agreement is not going to happen.

AMD spokesman Phil Hughes said, "It’s a business document and we are not going to negotiate this in the press or the media. This is something that the lawyers have to work out.”

That statement and Intel's willingness to release the full version of the licensing agreement could certainly make it seem AMD knows that it is violating the license agreement it has in place with Intel in some minds.



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What is Intel gonna do?
By Amiga500 on 10/9/2008 11:04:54 AM , Rating: 3
Try to revoke AMD's x86 license?

I'm sure the anti-monopolistic would have a field day with that. It would also look extremely bad with AMD's other lawsuits cooking.

Intel is between a rock and a hard place here - there is not an awful lot they can do without bringing down other problems on themselves - even though they may be technically right regarding the x86 licensing agreement.




RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By the goat on 10/9/2008 11:50:50 AM , Rating: 5
This has nothing to do with a monopoly or not. Last time I checked there are many different proprietary CPU architectures on the market. There is no requirement to allow other people to build your architecture for free.

Just because most operating systems are only written for x86 architecture does not make it special.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By Amiga500 on 10/9/2008 12:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
This has nothing to do with a monopoly or not.

The x86 agreement has nothing to do with monopoly.

Intel vs. AMD has everything to do with monopoly on desktop computers. Like it or lump it, that is just the way things are.

Hence why I did say it will bring other problems to Intel even if they are technically right regarding the x86 agreement.

No doubt any court case involving the x86 license would quickly expand into a wider case involving monopolies, and indeed certain anti-competitive practices.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By JWalk on 10/11/2008 12:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be silly. Intel isn't going to "revoke" the license agreement.

If a settlement of some kind isn't reached, Intel will simply take AMD to court for damages incurred due to the violation of their licensing agreement. If it comes to that, you can be sure that a new licensing agreement will also be drawn up as part of the final outcome of the case.

If AMD actually is in violation of this cross-licensing agreement, then Intel is well within their rights to look for legal (and monetary) compensation of some kind. AMD certainly would do the same, if things were reversed.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By stryfe on 10/10/2008 5:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Intel does not allow AMD to use it's x86 IP for free. AMD has paid royalties since the terms were renegotiated in 2001.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By crystal clear on 10/11/2008 5:06:57 AM , Rating: 2
Within the restrictions of the "terms & conditions" of the agreement.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By Ratwar on 10/9/2008 1:13:27 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not sure Intel is really stuck between a rock and a hard place, mainly because they're making a few Billion Dollars a year.

Besides, you can temper any anti-monopolistic argument with the 'Don't let technology go to the Evil Muslims in the UAE'. Remember what happened when they tried to buy the rights to operate US ports.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By asdf23fvas324rf on 10/9/2008 2:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
contrary to popular belief, monopoloies are NOT illegal. if amd goes under and intel is left as the only desktop processor company (hypothetically assuming all the legal stuff goes under the table) then intel cannot be sued or broken up for being a monopoly. its anti-competitive practices thats illegal (and for which intel has their ongoing lawsuits).

in any case though, if this split does go aganist the agreement then intel really cant get in too much more trouble. it would add some fuel to the fire that is their pending lawsuits but legally if this does violate the agreement intel can do what they want with the contrace. however, if it does my guess would be that intel would just change the licensing agreement around again for the sake of their pending lawsuits.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By Hyperion1400 on 10/9/2008 8:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Anti-Trust_Ac...

Ok? So the Sherman and Clayton Anti-trust Acts no longer exist?


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By KeypoX on 10/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By Hyperion1400 on 10/9/2008 10:52:12 PM , Rating: 5
Aye, but depending on how AMD's current case against Intel pans out, Intel may fall into, or out of, the coercive category.

I for one highly doubt Intel maintained market dominance based on merit during a five year period where AMD had a superior product.

Also, I believe personal attacks are forbade by the ToS/posting rules.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By vignyan on 10/10/2008 11:33:51 AM , Rating: 2
Superior product != Success in Business.

Thats the reason you go for a branded TV rather than some unbranded Japanese TV! ;)


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/10/2008 2:10:31 PM , Rating: 3
That would be unbranded Chinese TV.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By Pavelyoung on 10/11/2008 11:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
Not true, if AMD is indeed in violation of their agreement, then Intel has the right to relief.

Intel maintained dominance because AMD was a lesser known brand at the time. When AMD had been around for a few years, people started switching. Then AMD rested on its butt for to long and assumed that Intel wouldn't be able to catch up to them. When Intel did, AMD had nothing to counter with and were left looking stupid because of it.

Stop attacking each other. Problem solved.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By bdot on 10/9/2008 6:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
Has the x86 patent not expired? To my knowledge it was filed in 1990 and the patent length prior to 1995 was 17 years...

I guess I am missing something.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By vignyan on 10/10/2008 11:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
Its an IP thats licensed out. Not a patent for which they are paying royalties. These are Trade secrets - No expiry!


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/10/2008 2:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto. The X86 will be a trade secret indefinately, or until Intel decides its obsolete and no longer needed.


RE: What is Intel gonna do?
By bdot on 10/11/2008 12:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
Ah right makes sense. It is a platform constantly being developed upon.

Thanks,


Speculation..
By Parker75 on 10/9/2008 12:02:02 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think that the cross-licensing agreement is transferable to another company, even if that company was spun from AMD. However, I also think that the new company would not be in violation of any IP infringement if it were to manufacture x86 compatible chips based on AMD design. I think the issue may be that Intel may have also cross-licensed some manufacturing processes with AMD and they do not want the new company to utilize those techniques.

Of course this is all a speculation because no one but the two parties involve know exactly what was cross-licensed and the limitation on the transfer of those licenses.




RE: Speculation..
By Proteusza on 10/9/2008 12:46:50 PM , Rating: 5
Besides, Intel didnt kick up a fuss when Chartered manufactured Athlon64s a few years ago.


RE: Speculation..
By ThePooBurner on 10/9/2008 6:52:51 PM , Rating: 3
I think that will be the key that keeps AMD from being at fault or in violation. Even if tey are Intel set a precident by not caring about Chartered, and as such have waived their right to care about The Foundry also making chips.


RE: Speculation..
By TA152H on 10/12/2008 11:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
There is a perfectly good reason why Intel did not. It was not a violation of the agreement.

AMD is allowed to make up to 20% of their processors in FABS that are not their own. Chartered never went over that, therefore, AMD was in compliance.

By the way, VIA/Centaur also make x86 chips, and they compete pretty well in the low power arena. I'm unclear how they are doing this. Although, the courts never did decide in Intel's favor that AMD could not use the x86 instruction set without Intel's permission, by the way. The licensing agreement was created to settle the case. I remember one thing Intel insisted on that bit them - that AMD's future processors were not to be made on a platform that Intel created. The K7 and beyond have enjoyed a much better platform.

Be careful what you ask for ...


RE: Speculation..
By deeznuts on 10/9/2008 4:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
if you believe that the license is non-transferrable, why would you then believe the new company would not be in violation of IP infringement if it manufactures it based on AMD's design?

First, we don't know what's in the licensing agreement. They can be open, or retrictive. The license may say, AMD, and only AMD, is licensed to design and manufacture CPUs based on X86. That precludes anyone else, not licensed separately from Intel, from fabbing x86 cpus.

And AMD spinning off, then selling more than 50% of the company is a change in control. I have experience in that area for sure. That would require consents to assignments with pre-existing contracts, or new ones, both required if the original contracts don't allow for assignments.


Tough times demand more than tough talk.....
By crystal clear on 10/9/2008 1:00:56 PM , Rating: 3
Yes indeed the title of this comment describe best the situation today & more to come for 2008/09.

quote:
According to eWeek, Hans Mosesmann, a financial analyst with Raymond James, believes that Intel could use the split of AMD and transfer of its IP to The Foundry to pressure AMD to drop long-standing lawsuits it has against Intel.


This analyst comments are pure speculations & guess work.

He has no evidence or material to back up his opinions.

quote:
AMD spokesman Phil Hughes said,

"It’s a business document and we are not going to negotiate this in the press or the media. This is something that the lawyers have to work out.”


AMD/Advanced Technology Investment Company agreement can also be catergorized as "It’s a business document. which was published/announced to the press & the public at large,

With this background even the AMD/Intel licensing agreements
is no exception.

When Intel is ready to release it (the agreement) for publication, then there is no valid reason "why AMD should not or object to Intel publishing it.

This from ny earlier comment-

The Intel spokesman said the confidentiality of the terms of the Intel-AMD cross-licensing agreement prevented him from saying

what Intel's potential issues with the ATIC deal might be.

Mulloy said that Intel had been pushing AMD to agree to

make those terms public "for months,"
but claimed AMD

was not willing to do so .


One should note that this AMD/ATIC agreement is subject to the approval of AMD's current shareholders & CFUS before it can be implemented.

Nobody really knows what will happen in the coming months & what decisions are reached-namely by the shareholders & CFUS.

There is no point speculating on this at the moment.

AMD should publish the original licensing agreement granted to AMD - a non-exclusive, non-transferable license for x86 technology

As for Intel...It can be best described below-

"Thought precedes action as lightning does thunder."

"Leadership is action, not position"

To summarize it-

Mr Sanders said-

"AMD has found a way to compete with Intel's balance sheet by using Abu Dhabi's balance sheet,"




By ThePooBurner on 10/9/2008 6:56:20 PM , Rating: 1
The formatting of this post makes it hard to follow and see what exactly your point might be. As i still am not sure what it is.


RE: Tough times demand more than tough talk.....
By Visual on 10/10/2008 4:51:08 AM , Rating: 2
hell, the post actually ends with a comma - i guess we should be expecting part 2... no use trying to understand it before then :P


By crystal clear on 10/11/2008 4:16:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yes indeed the comma slipped in due to "copy/paste" from my earlier comments.

Yes as for the part 2 - I wont keep you waiting !

As for the trying to understand part of it....

The post itself is "bits & pieces " put together not formated prperly due to time constraints.

"figure it out"....


By crystal clear on 10/11/2008 5:00:16 AM , Rating: 3
Here comes the part 2....

Could Intel kill AMD's escape plan?

It is rival processor vendor Intel Corp. that holds the key to the survival of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) as a fabless chip company and the formation of Foundry Co., with wafer fabs in Dresden and, perhaps, in New York state.
In fact, with a few flourishes of a legal counsel's pen Intel could scupper it. The real question is: will Intel allow the plan to go through and keep AMD on life-support? That would have the advantage of allowing Intel to not be seen as a monopoly supplier.

When looked from the point of view of AMD, most analysts agree that the injection of petro-dollars from Abu Dhabi is a life-saver. The substantial re-organization — splitting off manufacturing — is enough to keep AMD in the microprocessor game but not enough to necessarily see it gain market share, seems to be the consensus.

The plan allows AMD to go fabless, which should give some sort of economic advantage over Intel, and clears $1.2 billion of debt of AMD's books, while the formation of Foundry Co., tapping into the IBM Common Platform alliance, should give AMD access to competitive leading-edge manufacturing processes.

However, when looked at from the point of view of Foundry Co. the deal makes less sense. The foundry market is already crowded and also dominated by TSMC. The idea that any newcomer to that market would choose to have fabs in the western hemisphere rather than the eastern hemisphere looks almost perverse.

Abu Dhabi wants to get into the chipmaking business — or at least invest in it — and that, along with about $8 billion, is the price. If Foundry Co. should start to flounder a fabless AMD will have other sources of 32-nm and 28-nm silicon from within the Common Platform alliance.

But one question that hangs over the plan is whether AMD has the right to pass on x86 processor manufacturing technology details, some of which are covered by cross-licensing agreements with Intel, to a third party, such as Foundry Co.?

Even if AMD argues that the cross-licensing that came out of an almost decade-long legal battle between AMD and Intel in the 1990s has become irrelevant with the passing of time and the expiry of patents, it should known that

Intel is quite prepared to go to court to hammer out the details — for years if necessary.


And the very act of being dragged to court could be enough to thwart AMD's dreams of resurgence. A smaller, fabless AMD would be less able to survive such an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and doubt than its predecessor

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jht...


By crystal clear on 10/13/2008 9:08:46 AM , Rating: 2
Something more to add on-

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Chairman Hector Ruiz (right) will get a $3 million bonus if AMD’s deal to spin off its manufacturing operations to a new foundry company goes through.

The details were included in documents filed this afternoon with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ruiz will earn $1.15 million annually as chairman of the new company, which is getting investment from the government of Abu Dhabi.

Ruiz will also be eligible for an annual bonus up to 400 percent of his salary, which equates to $4.6 million.

The new foundry, which is being called The Foundry Co. for now, will also build a $4.6 billion chip fab in Saratoga County.

Ruiz was in Albany this week explaining the deal to Gov. David Paterson. Empire State Development Corp., the state’s economic development arm, must approve the transfer of $650 million in cash incentives offered to AMD to The Foundry Co., which is being incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

AMD expects the deal to close by the beginning of next year, although the SEC documents say the deadline internally is March 7, or else the deal can be canceled.

http://blogs.timesunion.com/business/?p=4980


By rtrski on 10/9/2008 11:10:23 AM , Rating: 5
...physical implementation? e.g. you can enable a certain logic arrangement in several different silicon technologies. The foundry doesn't really "see" the code (without a heck of a lot of reverse-engineering) from the layout data.

I may be off the boat here, but I think Intel's making a lot of noise over nothing. Sounds like saber rattling to me, which would tend to make me agree it's some sort of anti-lawsuit negotiating ploy.




By amanojaku on 10/9/2008 7:14:34 PM , Rating: 1
Saber rattling! You learn something new every day! At first I had visions of Intel in a large, black helmet stating "my Schwartz is bigger than yours, AMD!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saber_rattling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_balls


By stryfe on 10/10/2008 6:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
It real depends wheter the license covers both design and manufacture or just design.


By stryfe on 10/10/2008 6:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
Should be:
It really depends whether the license covers both design and manufacture or just design.

One day dailytech will allow editting of comments and there will be much rejoicing!


this is pretty stupid
By omnicronx on 10/9/2008 1:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
Even if this is true, all AMD has to do is hold a 50.1% stake in foundry to make this perfectly acceptable. The only reason Intel is saying AMD violates the agreement is because they will no longer be in control of foundry with a 46% stake.




RE: this is pretty stupid
By Donkey2008 on 10/9/2008 2:47:05 PM , Rating: 2

With a majority ownership (>50%), won't AMD have to have submit consolidated financial statements with Foundry? Legally that is ownership, right?

Very good point Omni.


RE: this is pretty stupid
By NullSubroutine on 10/10/2008 12:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
They have 50.1% voting rights in Foundry, even though they only own 44 or 46% or whatever.


RE: this is pretty stupid
By crystal clear on 10/11/2008 4:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
This from ny earlier comment-

The Intel spokesman said the confidentiality of the terms of the Intel-AMD cross-licensing agreement prevented him from saying

"what Intel's potential issues with the ATIC deal might be."

Mulloy said that Intel had been pushing AMD to agree to

make those terms public "for months," but claimed AMD

was not willing to do so .


Nobody knows what the terms of the agreements are-just everybody is specualting & guessing.

Intel should be given an opportunity to explain-

"what Intel's potential issues with the ATIC deal might be."

To do this

AMD to agree to make those terms public

So in all fairness we all should await a full detail response from Intel provided AMD agrees to drop its objection to

to make those terms public

Now why is AMD is objecting to this ?

Is due to the fact this would send the AMD/Foundry agreement to the "trash can"

or

ask the UAE to send a huge cargo of petro dollars to Intel in return drop their objections to the deal.

Money gets things done....


RE: this is pretty stupid
By crystal clear on 10/11/2008 6:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
How did AMD get the license in the first place?
By Aloonatic on 10/9/2008 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
I seem to recall something about Intel being made to let AMD have the license anyway?

I wish I had more than a couple of minutes before I had to go home but I thought the question was worth asking.

So what would be different now?

Could AMD have the license revoked (or whatever the term is) and then Intel be made to give it to someone else anyway?




By smitty3268 on 10/9/2008 4:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
AMD just started making x86 CPUs, Intel sued, and the two settled out of court with the cross licensing agreement. Nothing was ever determined by a judge.

I find it unlikely that the courts would allow the agreement to be revoked, but Intel could certainly tie up AMD in court for a while and force them to spend even more money they don't have in defense. That's the last thing they need right now.


By omnicronx on 10/9/2008 5:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has been making x86 chips since the original Intel 8086 and 8088 processors. IBM had a policy back then that required at least two sources for chips. In fact AMD made 8086, 286, 386 and 486 chips until they bought out nexgen and AMD finally split from intel with the introduction of the K6-2 .


By omnicronx on 10/9/2008 4:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
AMD legally won the right to use the x86 process after Intel tried to illegally cut them out in the early 90's. Originally in the early 80's IBM would not sign contract with Intel unless they had a second supplier of x86 chips, that turned out to be AMD.

Amd won't have their license revoked, if it turns out that AMd is actually violating their agreement, then AMD's split just probably won't go through, they are not going to stop making x86 chips. Then of course as the article states, Intel may just be using this as leverage so that AMD drops its antitrust suits against them.


I'm surprised
By sprockkets on 10/9/2008 12:27:04 PM , Rating: 3
No one pointed out that AMD has to made at least the majority of their chips in house; they cannot outsource all of it to another foundry. That was part of the original agreement.

Where I read that many years ago, I cannot remember.

I'm not sure why Intel cares about x86 tech being exposed to another foundry. It already has with AMD using others to make their Athlon 64 chips. The x86 spec is freely available. If anyone should be worried, it is AMD, with their own designs being exposed.

C'mon, Intel, you think that in this day and age, someone is going to make a x86 chip due to the AMD split and be perhaps better than your design? AMD is almost dead, the old Cyrix lives on in VIA, everyone else from the mid 90s are gone and you dominate the market. IBM's Power chips are now in their servers and Apple uses x86 now. Give me a break.




The Line Between Blog and News
By clovell on 10/9/2008 12:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
> That statement and Intel's willingness to release the full version of the licensing agreement could certainly make it seem AMD knows that it is violating the license agreement it has in place with Intel in some minds.

I don't suppose you saw it when you stepped across it, eh? There's certianly enough information in your article for people to draw their own conclusions, and I disagree with this sentiment.

Business contracts and agreements aren't public documents. AMD has a right to protect its shareholders and business practices just as Intel does.




By William Gaatjes on 10/10/2008 4:42:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mosesmann wrote, "AMD, in our view, is likely violating the Intel x86 cross-license, but we suspect Intel may look the other way as it benefits Intel to have an AMD that will over time have increasing variable costs (good for ASPs). Intel may choose to entice AMD to drop the anti-trust suits against Intel in return for this altruistic gesture.”


This person does not know the meaning of "altruistic" it seems. This is just a case of "you scratch my back and i will scratch yours".




By Boushh on 10/10/2008 10:07:53 AM , Rating: 2
Where Canon had the non-exclusive patent license agreement with Nano-Proprietary for manaufacturing SED panels. But Nano-Proprietary sued Canon when Canon sub-licensed it to Toshiba so they could build SED panels in a joint-venture.

After some rulings Canon bought the whole Joint venture. And lately even had a break in he ruling.

However, it could be the same road AMD would be facing.




By Conroe on 10/10/2008 7:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
This has nothing to do with monopolies and all do do with a written agreement that none of us have completely read. Intel has every right to get all it can out of it's IP, just as AMD is obligated to it's agreements. How this could effect Intel's market position is a whole new subject.




Intel's FUD
By KinEnriquez on 10/13/2008 7:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
I would suppose AMD consulted lawyers before going into this thing and check if everything is in compliance with the agreement with Intel.

Intel is just spreading FUD and kneecap AMD every turn to keep its monopoly in the market




Cross-licensing agreement
By sonoran on 10/9/2008 3:14:59 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, so why does AMD not want the entire agreement to become public?




Printing
By Segerstein on 10/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Printing
By MarcLeFou on 10/9/2008 11:11:46 AM , Rating: 2
Yes but giving a 3rd party knowledge of making the actual x86 chips could be seen as giving somebody else knowledge of the x86 technology depending on how you view it.

This is not very surprising given Intel's past attempt to get AMD's x86 license revoked.

Lawyer's win again.


RE: Printing
By Mitch101 on 10/9/2008 11:19:59 AM , Rating: 5
The real question is would AMD have had to split off like this had Intel not entered into anti-competitive practices with manufacturers.

Most likely Intel's heavy handed stance in this shows they have intent to leverage their manufacturing abilities to eliminate AMD. Since Intel currently cant use their anti-competitive practices currently because of the lawsuit they are utilizing their manufacturing prowess to cut AMD's revenue stream. Minor Intel manufacturing profits today until they eliminate the competition.

Intel could find itself in more hot water with doing this.


RE: Printing
By BansheeX on 10/9/2008 12:18:22 PM , Rating: 1
AMD could have invested more in fabrication, instead they spent their money on ATi, another company they can't manage. Contrary to socialist belief, one team beating another 50 to 15 and scoring half of their points off turnovers isn't anti-competitive, so I don't think using "prowess" at this point is going to get them into more trouble.


RE: Printing
By Proteusza on 10/9/2008 12:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but hiding your goalposts so the opponent cant score a goal is kinda dodgy dont you think? Sounds to me like you confuse socialism with fair business practices. Would you think it fair if AMD destroyed Intel's fabs with rocket launchers?

But maybe you would rather Intel own the entire market and be free to charge the prices it wants. Remember the days when Nvidias top GPU launched for $600? You can thank ATI that that isnt the case anymore.


RE: Printing
By eyebeeemmpawn on 10/9/2008 1:25:15 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
instead they spent their money on ATi, another company they can't manage


haha, managed themselves right into the lead.

http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3415&p=1


RE: Printing
By jarman on 10/9/2008 3:05:18 PM , Rating: 1
Lead of what? I might agree with that argument if you referenced the 4870X2, but the 1GB 4870 certainly doesn't lead the GTX 280.


RE: Printing
By omnicronx on 10/10/2008 11:49:39 AM , Rating: 2
ATI is whiping the floor with Nvidia right now after all the trouble Nvidia has been in lately.


RE: Printing
By William Gaatjes on 10/10/2008 5:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
The purchase of ATI was not a bad move. The amount of money payed for ATI was. Thank you Hector Ruiz.

With the purchase of ATI , AMD gathered a very good team of engineers and designers and most of all a lot of knowledge and experience. And they now have a good chipset and GPU thanks to the designers of ATI. I would not be surprised if some of the ATI engineers are now helping on the future incarnation of the K10,5. AMD has a great design and engineering team but it does not hurt to have some help from fresh eyes. And having lot's of production facilities and no customers to sell your cpu's too is also not the answer. That is why AMD took Intel to court.

And that is the first start of making a foundry. If you don't need to make chips for yourself you can also make chips for others when you have the capacity(read not enough customers for your own chips). This ensures income.


RE: Printing
By Ratinator on 10/9/2008 11:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
One prints data the other technology. Intel's issue here is it doesn't want any secret technological information to fall into a third party's hands where they could potentially stand to gain from it. There is most likely specific details only known to Intel and AMD and having a third party in there can cause more issues over secrecy.

It's like having an affair. AMD, by splitting off, is in essence bringing in a third party to a relationship between AMD and Intel. Some people like the menage et trois....but when it comes to technological information, most won't want to share.


RE: Printing
By Segerstein on 10/9/2008 11:43:23 AM , Rating: 3
It is x86 instruction set + SSEx that's licenced. Internally K8/10 are quite different beasts from Intel's Core/Atom architectures.

Why doesn't TSMC, following this logic, produce its own GPUs by now? Besides, AMD used Chartered to help produce Athlons a few years ago.


RE: Printing
By djc208 on 10/9/2008 1:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
In those cases I'm sure the agreement between the two companies would prohibit TSMC from using any of the designs they were given for their own purposes.

Intel is saying that they don't know if their agreement holds between the new branch off AMD. Like if TSMC decided to make a seperate company that designed GPUs. The AMD/TSMC agreement might not apply to them specifically, but they would have had access to all the same info before they left.

Now a company like TSMC or similar would be stupid to try it since they would only get away with it once. Then no company would work with them again. Since they didn't develop the designs they stole, the designs would quickly go out of date and be useless leaving them with nothing to produce.

As you said, I don't know that the IP in question applies at all to manufacturing tech, otherwise AMD wouldn't be a generation behind Intel on the nm front. But it may provide the pressure Intel wants and they don't pay all those lawyers to do nothing.


RE: Printing
By Oregonian2 on 10/9/2008 4:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
How things fall can make a big difference. If the manufacturer of the chips (Foundary in this case) "has" an x86 IP license, then that will allow them to manufacture x86 chips for companies other than AMD as well (this sort of thing has happened in the past for other products).


By Mathos on 10/9/2008 11:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately the x86-16 patents expired many years ago, and if correct, the x86-32 patents expired last year. Which makes x86 16 and 32 bit processor microcode as public domain. From the agreement I read, most of what was blacked out was specifics about royalty %, and specifics like x86-64, and the SSE's. Or more specific the x86 32 bit patents that were around with the 386 released, and updated with the 486 in 1989. Since k6-2 AMD and Intel processors have been almost completely different designs, other than the basic x86-32 micro code that was created for 386, and 486, and possibly the Pentium. But since Pentium released in late 91 early 92, those patents would expire this year or next anyway. Now things like MMX, and SSE,2,3 they could gripe about. But, that's programmed microcode, not part of the physical processor.

What people fail to see is all modern x86 64 bit capable processors, or at least all from AMD and Intel are actually based off the AMD x86-64 patents. So in reality, about all terminating the license would do, would be to revoke amd of the ability to use MMX and SSE microcode.


By Mathos on 10/10/2008 12:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
Adding to my previous reply, the reason I state this, is that all AMD processors since the k5 have been RISC based with the ability to decode x86 instructions on the front end. And besides, AMD has outsourced chip production many times, I could list a few, one being to motarola in the early 90s.


By the goat on 10/10/2008 8:20:16 AM , Rating: 3
Apparently you are all confused. I guess that is why you rate me down. You don't seem to understand the magnitude of the patent cross licensing between Intel and AMD.

There are many more of Intel's patents that AMD uses then just CPU architecture patents. In fact I bet the majority of the patents are manufacturing based not design based.

With every new lithography node Intel obtains, they probably generate over 1,000 patents. AMD's fabs are fundamentally designed to operate using these manufacturing methods.

Without access to the Intel patents AMD's spin off, The Foundry, will have to retool their fabs which costs money, and use less efficient manufacturing methods which costs more money.

So if AMD and The Foundry want access to the patents they will have to negotiate with Intel.


By tmouse on 10/10/2008 9:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
Intel is not the only company with manufacturing patents, IBM probably has even more; and there are many other companies that have contributed to chip processes so that is probably not an issue. I believe part of that cross license agreement was also AMD's x86 64 bit extensions which Intel chose to use when their Itanium design didn't exactly light the world on fire. If so Intel could also be forced to stop using them which would not be good for Intel. I really believe if AMD goes under Intel will be forced to split up its graphics, chipset and cpu units. Each is a major player in their respective markets and together it would not be a stretch to imagine a company with those resources presenting an impossible barrier for competitors. Either way I am sure in Europe, and more than likely the US they would face antitrust charges. The whole evil Arab empire threat being a motive for the US to not charge Intel is pure BS. The vast majority of chips for computers are now manufactured in China for Pete’s sake and chips like GPUs are just as (if not more so) technologically advanced as CPUs.


By the goat on 10/10/2008 9:59:23 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Intel is not the only company with manufacturing patents, IBM probably has even more; and there are many other companies that have contributed to chip processes so that is probably not an issue.


In fact I recall AMD announced a while ago that their future lithography nodes will be based on IBM manufacturing methods and patents. My point is AMD's current fabs are all designed around Intel's patents. The cost to retool the fabs to get away from Intel's patents is insurmountable. The Foundry need the Intel Patents. There is no other option.

Sorry I just don't see Intel as a monopoly. Microsoft is a lot closer to a monopoly and in fact they have been convicted of anticompetitive actions (and I hate MS more then Indiana Jones hates Natzis). But even I can see Microsoft is not a monopoly.


By Mathos on 10/11/2008 12:30:53 AM , Rating: 2
Actually AMD's current Lithography process is immersion Lithography. And the next process they're switching to for 32nm is UVD immersion lithography. Most of which patents don't belong to Intel. Not to mention Intel and AMD do not use the same silicon process. AMD uses SOI based transistors with strained silicon, and a double layer mask. Intel uses Bulk silicon with a 3d transistor design in processors prior to the 45nm penryns. And with Penryn and beyond use bulk silicon with high K metal gates and dielectrics based off their own hafnium process. Even if AMD goes High K at 45nm it is going to be high k gate with low k metal oxide dielectrics. SOI based lithography processes patents are mostly owned by IBM and their joint research group, which includes AMD. Not to mention IBM has their own High k Process that AMD has access to.


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