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  • JHN922 - Sunday, December 13, 2009 - link

    I have followed the various pratices of Intel and AMD for some years, and never thought AMD after putting all this effort into litigation with the big I, would cave like this in the 11th hour, when by all indications the various lawsuits were going to be settled in mostly favourable terms towards AMD.

    My only thoughts about why it went this way is that AMD must have needed a quick settlement in order to get cash on the table AND to go fabless. Intel seemed to be prepared to throw piles of money at the various suits in the hope that AMD would go bankrupt beofre they saw a penny of restituion.

    All I can see at this point is that AMD with turn into another Cyrix, a mere niche player with Intel able to swing the big hammer in regards to how much the computing world will (over)pay for CPUs. Truely a stomach turning moment
    Reply
  • laptopbattery - Saturday, December 05, 2009 - link

    I love, love, love porter. My mouth waters when I hear the word! It's the closest thing beer has to chocolate milk. Boulevard

    Brewing Company out of Kansas City makes a pretty good one, Bully! Porter. Stouts are a little iffier for me, but I love and

    adore the Schafly Coffee Stout (out of St. Louis). When I used to live in Springfield, MO, I would order the "black sheep" at

    Springfield Brew Co and it would either be their Mudhouse Stout or their porter, depending on the season.
    Reply
  • laptopbattery - Thursday, November 19, 2009 - link


    Just wanted to say great job with the blog, today is my first visit here and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts so far.
    "http://www.laptopbatteryclub.com">http://www.laptopbatteryclub.com"
    Reply
  • misbfa1 - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    My thoughts exactly! This is an extremely good business deal for Intel. It was/still is a very good business strategy. It goes like this:

    Late 90s/Early 2000's: Make MANY billions blocking your competition from selling its products, allowing you to gain a market share/technology/cash advantage.

    Late 00's: Get slap on the wrist for previous actions in the form of paying a now severely crippled competitor a fraction of the money made earlier, that is worth less than it was when you made it.

    Rinse/Repeat

    They probably made more than $1.25B on just the interest from the profits they stole over the years.
    Reply
  • misium - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    Good job! Reply
  • Morbid666 - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    So AMD is in debt? - thats sad cause they are still competing quite well with intel even though they are megamonsters comparing to AMD/ATI... buying ATI was the best thing that ever happened to them. now they can move towards their own platform in near future. i also think that AMD was well ahead against intel in 2004 with athlons, but then they pumped massive amounts of money on research with Core Duo, and then again very quickly with i7. this strategy simply tells me that intel are there only for money as businessmen rule in there. they got all the money they need but will only use it when there is competition - they are not really interested in technology progress. 2004 was a lesson for them they dont want to repeat, therefore if AMD is in debt & goes bankrupt - then the dark age will be upon cpu market - intel will not push anything at all. Reply
  • praktik - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Fantastic news. Now the glories of the free market are ready to rain down upon the CPU market like never before!! Reply
  • BSMonitor - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Yes, as we find new and exciting ways to bow down to our Abu Dhabi masters.... Reply
  • bigdawg1988 - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Exactly how well do the other fab shops stack up against Intel? Would it make it easier, cheaper, and/or faster for AMD to have 22nm chips, or is Intel simply much better than everyone else? If so, the long term outlook still wouldn't improve for AMD. They may be able to design competitive chips, but if they can't get them made, then what's the point? They still lose, right?
    Can any of you more knowledgeable people clue me in?
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Well now we get to see if the major stock holders of AMD believe in their own company. After yesterday's 20% jump in stock price we'll see if the big players cash out or are in for the long haul. My guess unfortunately is the former of the two. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Very VERY interesting data I just came across at cnn money. 7 people exercised their stock options on 11/9, ranging from ~700 shares to over 13,000 shares. That's not chump change and seems an odd time to exercise options....unless of course you know of some great news... Reply
  • trajan - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Speaking as a corporate lawyer with more than a few multibillion dollar transactions under my belt, trust me -- $1.25 B is not for lawyers fees. Epic litigation such as this, lasting over the course of years, is extremely expensive, no doubt. And the loser's legal bills in a settlement like this are effectively doubled, since of course AMD is getting compensated for their legal bill, and Intel still has to pay their own lawyers.

    But $1.25 billion to AMD? There is no way AMD spent more than $100 to $200m on this, and that is a very, very high upper limit.
    Reply
  • Ares202 - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    As said above legal fees are expensive but nowhere near $1.2 billion

    Cash is exacly what AMD need at this time, that money should help them a lot
    Reply
  • Stuart21 - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    No it doesn't. The fat lady is yet to sing.

    Where are the triple damages for the state, for loss of consumers rights?

    INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL
    I invented a CPU cooler - 3 times better than best - better than water. Intel have major CPU cooling problems - "Intel's microprocessors were generating so much heat that they were melting" (iht.com) - try to talk to them - they send my communications to my competitor & will not talk to me.

    Winners of major 'Corporate Social Responsibility' award.

    Huh!!!!

    When did RICO get repealed?"

    Be advised
    1) I am prepared to kill to protect my IP (Intel HAVE NOT stolen it AFAIK - so you can't Sean Dix me) and
    2) I am prepared to die to get TRUE patent reform.

    IPROAG - The Intellectual Property Rightful Owners Action Group.
    The One Dollar Patent.
    Posted by: Not Edwin Armstrong II
    Reply
  • InternetGeek - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    drop the caffeine.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    so intel gets to a*srape amd for years on end, and when it goes to court, intel says "here's a buck and change, lets pretend it didn't happen" and amd says "ok, works for me, just don't do it again".

    that's a win for amd?

    Reply
  • misbfa1 - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    My thoughts exactly! This is an extremely good business deal for Intel. It was/still is a very good business strategy. It goes like this:

    Late 90s/Early 2000's: Make MANY billions blocking your competition from selling its products, allowing you to gain a market share/technology/cash advantage.

    Late 00's: Get slap on the wrist for previous actions in the form of paying a now severely crippled competitor a fraction of the money made earlier, that is worth less than it was when you made it.

    Rinse/Repeat

    They probably made more than $1.25B on just the interest from the profits they stole over the years.
    Reply
  • InternetGeek - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Absolutely.

    If AMD decided they were in their rights to go fabless while keeping the X86 license, Intel could have just pulled the license from them (they are in their rights), and held AMD from keeping any money at all while the matters were settled in court. AMD would have kept hammering them in the anti-trust side, but on the end intel, though battered, would have prevailed because they have the cash for it.

    This agreement is good. They will both play nice now, and if not, they can sue each other.
    Reply
  • Nehemoth - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I would like to get some more clarification.

    Will be Intel still prosecute on New York?
    If yes can the information gathered by AMD used against Intel?
    The money from the fine imposed by EC where would go, AMD?, EC?

    Also I read on X-Bit Labs that Intel will have access to the ATI IP,
    to me this mean bad news for AMD.



    The first question obviously has been answered but I'll leave as it.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    1) Will be Intel still prosecute on New York?

    That's up to the New York Attorney General, although both Intel and AMD are going to try to talk them out of it.

    2) The money from the fine imposed by EC where would go, AMD?, EC?

    It goes to the EC.

    3) Also I read on X-Bit Labs that Intel will have access to the ATI IP

    It was made exceedingly clear in both press conferences that this an x86-only deal. No graphics technologies or patents are being cross-licensed. Nothing has changed there.
    Reply
  • InternetGeek - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I don't know about access to ATI's IP, but sounds logical.

    As for the rest, the answer is no. Intel won't be prosecuted in NY, and because there won't be any information from that it can't be used. Government agencies would have to gather their information on their own and AMD won't help them because the agreement says they won't.

    In other words, this is a fresh start for both companies.
    Reply
  • InternetGeek - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Good to see they decided to fight it out in the market. Hopefully governments will get the message and let them fight it out on their own.

    Also, on hindsight, clever moves from AMD. It shed the unnecesary fat of maintaining a fab that's not viable, can look forward to settle its debts while fighting it off with Intel.

    I'd like to see the rest of the conditions to understand what did AMD gain, and here's hoping for much better product at awesome prices (for consumers that is)
    Reply
  • Zelog - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Intel's success: They own fabs.
    AMD's destruction: They own fabs.

    Confused.
    Reply
  • Mills - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I think Intel sells enough volume for the huge investment in a fab to make sense for them. AMD doesn't and so here we are. Reply
  • jav6454 - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    This is good news. At least AMD can finally do something with that $ and spur more innovation..

    Borrowing a quote from someone with a twist.

    "AMD should stop thinking that for AMD to prosper, Intel has to die. AMD has to start remembering, who AMD is and let go of said silly notion."

    This extra cash should be use to bolster AMD designs and architectures that rival Intel on a different approach or front. That money shouldn't be used to play catch-up.

    Reply
  • copfrance - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Hello.

    In the light of recent events, as AMD goes fabless and becomes only design company, I have wondered what software do Intel, IBM and AMD use for CPU design. Is it OrCAD or some other? Is it NI Multisim?

    Best regards.

    France
    Reply
  • Syphadeus - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    It's great news that these two companies have managed to settle this difference, but the bigger picture isn't so rosy.

    I mean, doing a deal with the devil that seems win / win is all well and good, but AMD has basically ratted on Intel everywhere they could, up to the highest levels. It's all very well for them to now say, "Ahh, it's okay guys, we've settled our differences", but what a monumental waste of time and money it is for the investigating bodies.

    Of course, the major caveat of this settlement is the 2nd point. Intel cannot cease it's malpractice if it does not concede to malpractice. It's all business lingo for "yeah we did it, but we don't want to pay full-price for our crime". I don't agree with that, and whilst it's great that AMD does, this is clearly an instance of fat cat businessmen scratching one another's backs for their own benefit. If one of them only had their own hatchet to bury, it wouldn't be so bad, but AMD basically enlisted an army to fight Intel, and now it's turned it's back on it's troops.
    Reply
  • lebarle - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Why is it a disadvantage to NOT own the means of making your own chips? These fab shops are going to cooperate with AMD in order to keep their business right? What is the downside? If it is such a disadvantage why did the original agreement require AMD to fab their chips inhouse?

    AMD will now have more money and staff to concentrate on innovative designs. I do agree that is not a guarentee of success with Intel pumping out new innovative product as they have been.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Well, the fab company has to make a profit too. They're going to charge AMD enough money to cover all of the usual fab costs, and then some. AMD will have less work to do, but it'll cost them more.

    Still, it will be thrilling to see AMD start pumping some cash into R&D again.
    Reply
  • zulezule - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Have seen this elsewhere: Intel will now have access to ATI patents. Is this true? Could they decide to make an ATI-like graphics chip, if Larrabee doesn't work as well as intended? Reply
  • mutarasector - Saturday, November 21, 2009 - link

    The cross licensing agreement applies to x86 only. Neither company would benefit from licensing each others GPU technologies anyway. For example: Why would Intel want CrossfireX when it has already heavily invested in Lucid's Hydra technology? Or why would ATI want Larabee technology when they're already well ahead of the game with Fusion development?

    If anyone suffers from this settlement, I would think it would be nVidia. Since nVidia is sniffing around at the prospect of entering the x86 game (perhaps buying VIA?), this might make it more difficult for them to do so since ATI will have an even bigger leg up on nVidia by having no restrictions on fabs AND a cross licensing agreement. Even though a lot of x86 patents are due to expire, I7 is one technology that nVidia has no license for. This settlement may just have one important ramification/side benefit for both aMD and Intel in that it will make it even more difficult for nVidia to become a viable competitior in the x86 game.
    Reply
  • mutarasector - Saturday, November 21, 2009 - link

    The cross licensing agreement applies to x86 only. Neither company would benefit from licensing each others GPU technologies anyway. For example: Why would Intel want CrossfireX when it has already heavily invested in Lucid's Hydra technology? Or why would ATI want Larabee technology when they're already well ahead of the game with Fusion development?

    If anyone suffers from this settlement, I would think it would be nVidia. Since nVidia is sniffing around at the prospect of entering the x86 game (perhaps buying VIA?), this might make it more difficult for them to do so since ATI will have an even bigger leg up on nVidia by having no restrictions on fabs AND a cross licensing agreement. even though a lot of x86 patents are due to expire, I7 is one technology that nVidia has no license for. This settlement may just have one important side benefit for Intel in that it will make it even more difficult for nVidia to become a viable competitior in the x86 game.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    This is NOT true. This is only an x86 cross-licensing agreement. There are no graphics patents involved. Reply
  • Ryun - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I doubt that AMD would just open up their ATI patents like that to Intel. It's one of the few things that set them apart from Intel. Reply
  • AlexWade - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Hopefully, with this extra cash, AMD can fire up the R&D team and once again produce a CPU as good as Intel. Which, of course, will require Intel to remain sharp. Two healthy CPU companies will mean great parts at great prices. This is a happy day. Reply
  • sandhuatdt - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    What I read is that once AMD goes fabless, there will mushroom fabs in China that will do the manufacturing for them. First, there will be a race to bottom of the barrel amongst the fabs and then *original* CPUs will start showing up on ebay from the 2nd shift at these fabs :) Reply
  • erple2 - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    This is something that I hadn't ever considered. Intel and AMD maintaining a stranglehold on the x86 CPU production market means that we might see quality of manufacture of x86 parts start to fall.

    However, given the other graphs that it takes BILLIONS of dollars to start up a fab, maybe that's a concern that won't play out.

    I'm more worried about a bad batch of 2nd shift x86 parts appearing at major retailers (or as major as newegg, microcenter or zipzoomfly are).
    Reply
  • - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Today’s news, though suprising in its attention to details was predictable. My contention over the past year was that AMD was preparing themselves for takeover and I believe concessions 1,2 3 & 4 (blastoff) do just that. I did not to go over these concessions in detail...yet

    asH
    Reply
  • - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    on 2nd thought, how much is 49% of AMD worth now-a-days? lol
    asH
    Reply
  • camylarde - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    I can have my own processor company!! Plus they would need to pay me billions for me to start owning them ;-) sweet.

    ANd when they are mine, I would order them to... erm... finally create a gaming processor ;-)

    [/silly humour]
    Reply
  • Ananke - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I don't believe will have soon Intel or AMD processors made in China - this is covered under law for dual use goods, goods that can be used for military purposes. So, unless Chinese create their own processors, none of the American companies are allowed to trade or manufacture anything similar on hostile territory.

    Also, processor chips are very capital intensive, only few people work in the fab itself, and they are highly trained and loyal employees. Considering forex exchange, political risks, etc. building a microprocessor fab for minimum (because it is usually a complex of facilities) of $10-15 billion capital expense outside politicly secure area is fiction, at least for now.

    That doesn't mean that corporations are not trying to circumvent legal restrictions, like sponsoring certain universities, scientific facilities, etc. in China and then purchasing from a Chinese fab their "own" design of silicon, which eventually can mimic x86 instructions. Anyway, this is very sensitive area, not very related to normal free market logic.

    I am just curious, if AMD licensed Intel for the Radeon architecture and its integration on the CPU die. Would we see united Intel and AMD against Nvidia and ARM-based silicon? This should be very interesting agreement they've signed. :)
    Reply
  • Morbid666 - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    you underestimate chinese production qualities. give them few more years they will produce products better & cheaper. 20 years ago who would have thought that china would ever produce a high quality TV - we stared at hefty priced SONY tv with MADE IN JAPAN written on it, now ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in terms of technology is fabricated there... they will reach waffer soon & i dont see problem with that as long as it is properly quality checked Reply
  • Suntan - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    And just like that all these poor lawyers are now out of a job... Poor guys.

    To think of all the office buildings filled with blood suckers that were fully employed specifically for battling between AMD and Intel. Who will water all the plants now?

    -Suntan
    Reply
  • trajan - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    That all really depends on your perspective (or mine, speaking as a lawyer). If you're AMD, your position is that Intel has been dicking you over for years and costing you huge amounts of money. So you paid tens of millions, perhaps a couple hundred million, to some lawyers. Result? You win, Intel stops messing with you, and you get a cool $1.2 B dollars. Lawyers don't seem so bad.

    Intel, on the other hand, thinks they weren't doing anything wrong, and has now paid millions of their own dollars to lawyers, and lost. And they still have to pay their legal bill. Lawyers must seem evil.

    Its not really the lawyers that are bad or good, its about the underlying conflict.
    Reply
  • rivethead - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Those "poor lawyers" are anything but poor....... Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    A great read and a big surprise, given the other AMD article recently written. Reply
  • Skott - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    This current settlement is good news for AMD. This should allow them to be a better and more effective competitor which is good news for us consumers. However, I don't believe for one minute Intel is not done keeping AMD down. I imagine they have a few more tricks up their sleeves to keep AMD from gaining ground and I don't mean just by producing better and cheaper product.

    So until next time...
    Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I suspect Intel agreed to sharing only past technologies. Intel could then freely add new features/technologies locking AMD out in the cold, disregarding this under the guise of unforeseeable developments. Reply
  • Spoelie - Sunday, November 15, 2009 - link

    "In patent law, a cross-licensing agreement is an agreement according to which two or more parties grant a license to each other for the exploitation of the subject-matter claimed in one or more of the patents each owns."

    I'm sure Intel uses multiple AMD patents in their 64 bit ISA definition/implementation, QPI (similarities to HyperTransport in architecture and design), IMC, .. Just like AMD can just build CPUs compatible with any flavor of SSE or any other ISA extension Intel comes up with.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    No, they pretty much share everything...
    Half of the patents that Intel uses to create their chips are owned by AMD...
    Reply
  • mesiah - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    I'm pretty sure there was no agreement to share technology. The license agreement was to allow AMD to contract out the manufacture of x86 based cpus. Intel has a patent on the x86 design, so if you are going to make a cpu for a windows/mac based computer you have to pay intel for a license first. AMDs original license specifically stated that they were not allowed to contract out the majority of their fabrication to third parties, which is what AMD has been working towards recently. Reply
  • Blinkin - Monday, November 16, 2009 - link

    I'm pretty sure patents don't last forever. They typically expire 15 years after they're granted. Intel can't possibly claim any patent on the x86 ISA, since that has existed in the public domain for more than 20 years.

    Of course, Intel might claim patents on various enhancements, like MMX, SSE, and so on. They might also have patents on particular architectural design elements, such as micro-ops or hyperthreading for example. But even on these, the clock is ticking.

    In a few years, all of this technology is going to become public-domain, and any hobbyist will be able to legally design it into custom chips without worrying about infringing on IP.

    So that's the fundamental challenge for Intel (and for AMD): continue to innovate, basically, forever. If you ever reach a plateau of design where no fundamentally new enhancements can be added, then a few years later you're competing with the whole world (and that includes 3rd-world slave labor), and you have lost your business...
    Reply
  • rivethead - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Regarding the various government entities, I would not expect very many of them to cease their investigations. Intel broke the rules. It doesn't matter if AMD and Intel have shaken hands and agreed to let by-gones be by-gones. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Government is going to have a hard time prosecuting if no one is going to press charges . . . That is, within the US.

    Outside of the US . . .*shrug*, all I do know however is that AMD could make it very very hard for anyone screwing around with them. Imagine customers of any given country only having one CPU brand available, and what that could do to computer prices. As if prices outside of the US were not high enough already . . . Yeah, that would be a big "what-if", but a potentially devastating one as well.
    Reply
  • Targon - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    This is a common misconception that many people have. When rules are violated, and the government decides to fine a person or business for violating the rules, that is a VERY different than when a company or person starts a lawsuit.

    There were clear violations by Intel, and Intel will need to pay a fine because of it. That is different than AMD going after Intel for damages caused by that violation. You could say that the EU demanding that fines be paid is much the same thing. No company or individual will see a penny of any fines imposed by the government, and with the current financial difficulties out there, the only people who stand to gain here are....the politicians, who will pocket the money taken in.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    You seem to mistake anti-trust with a law suit filed by a company. They have nothing in common. The FTC doesnt need any company to press charges once the investigations have started. Hell, they dont even need a company file anything to start investigating if its too obvious...

    The trouble Intel has isnt going to go away by this settlement. Neither in- nor outside the US.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    "Government is going to have a hard time prosecuting if no one is going to press charges "

    It's the Government itself that is pressing the charges...
    1. The AMD suit was a civil suit for damages against AMD
    2. The New York suit is a suit for damages against the people of New York (alleging that Intel's exclusion of AMD cost the people a chance at reasonably priced equipment from OEMs)
    3. The rumoured FTC suit was about business practices by Intel that artificially create a higher barrier-to-entry for anyone wishing to compete in the semiconductor industry. This is against the law and they would be suing for damages on behalf of all the people of the US (because competition would be greatly detered).
    Reply
  • anactoraaron - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    Since when does any government agency (ie. FTC) care about creating your own possible monopoly? Or care about unfair business practices? I mean, there is SO MUCH of that going on everywhere if someone would actually take a look at it, but since when does a government agency actually DO something about it?

    SO...

    Since my town's commissioners office has the cable franchise and basically pushes local laws limiting DSL and other competing internet services should I call these government agencies to blow the whistle? 5 bucks says they'll hang up on me. Am I the only one that's bothered by local government OWNING something like that?

    Everyone should check their bill and see who owns the franchise of their area...

    BTW- great article Ryan
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Well You were talking about Intel, where I was talking about AMD, but my point is still valid. Reply
  • HexiumVII - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I guess this means most of our monies won't be thrown to the sharks! Reply
  • kiwik - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Thanks Ryan for the clear information on what they both settled on. Articles like this make Anandtech as important as some big newspapers in the morning. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    I agree. Well done. Reply
  • verballydecapitating - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Definitely! Great news :) Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, November 20, 2009 - link

    Great news...

    ...for Abu Dhabi.

    If American companies can't be trusted, should we be trusting our IP to incredibly wealthy, questionable foreign countries?

    I'm thinking not so much.
    Reply
  • lizalias - Monday, November 16, 2009 - link

    fabulous Reply
  • guccihut - Sunday, July 11, 2010 - link

    Your aritcle is very helpful for me,good job! Reply
  • guccihut - Sunday, July 11, 2010 - link

    Your aritcle is very helpful for me,good job! Reply

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