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





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By the goat on 10/9/2008 11:46:08 AM , Rating: -1
Clearly the AMD split violates the licensing agreement.

The Foundry will not be AMD and will not be owned by AMD. Why should Intel allow AMD to transfer IP to The Foundry?

Intel will use this opportunity to renegotiate the licensing deal or avoided lawsuits.




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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