Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Mar 2009 17:04 UTC
AMD Recently, AMD spun off its manufacturing business in a partnership with the Abu Dhabi government into Global Foundries. Apparently, Intel isn't very happy about this, and has said in correspondence to AMD that the patent cross-license agreement from 2001 has now been broken by AMD.
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Its not that complicated.
by broken_symlink on Mon 16th Mar 2009 17:20 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Intel's purported attempt to terminate the Company's rights and licenses under the Cross License itself constitutes a material breach of the Cross License by Intel which gives the Company the right to terminate Intel's rights and licenses under the Cross License Agreement while retaining the Company's rights and licenses under the Cross License Agreement"

What it says is that Intel's attempt at terminating the contract between the two companies is a breach of the terms they signed the contract under, and therefore gives AMD the right to terminate the contract, WHILE still maintaining all the rights they gained under the contract. If that is true then Intel has nothing on AMD.

Reply Score: 5

tisk tisk
by poundsmack on Mon 16th Mar 2009 17:41 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

This is pretty low Intel, you should know better than to waist your time on this. What do you hope to acomplish? You know that you can't get rid of AMD and to try and starve them out by a lengthy patent dispute seems highly unlikely. this is truely an epic waist of time and resources. you should focus more on the current EU anti trust issues you are facing.

Intel is trying ot burn a lot of bridges recently what with Nvidia and AMD. In this time of financial uncertantly it is better to have friends in the industry than to be the bully on the street.

Reply Score: 5

RE: tisk tisk
by bnolsen on Mon 16th Mar 2009 20:47 UTC in reply to "tisk tisk"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Probably it's because Intel has a very commanding lead with core i7 and atom. They've recovered from the Pentium4 fiasco and with the new architecture they feel they are in a position to own the market again.

What they may find is that they make awaken the ire of government(s) who may view this all as a monopoly grab.

Personally what intel is doing doesn't bother me so much. I'd really like to see their patent porfolio decimated (as most patents should be) to allow real valid competition back into the market -- not just AMD and VIA.

Id really hope to see some revolutionary new cpu technology become available which would change all the rules. But that has to happen on its own.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: tisk tisk
by segedunum on Mon 16th Mar 2009 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE: tisk tisk"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably it's because Intel has a very commanding lead with core i7 and atom. They've recovered from the Pentium4 fiasco and with the new architecture they feel they are in a position to own the market again.

It's not just Pentium 4 but the Itanium in particular that they have had to recover from, and amusingly that was done by going in several directions and using technology that was very similar to what AMD was doing. The x64 extensions that Intel came up with, for example, are a blatant rip-off of how AMD chose to do 64-bit.

Seriously, I would keep quiet if I were Intel. The cross-license agreement was done so that a hornet's nest would not be stirred up, and it at least ensured that Intel's 'right' to 'license' the concept of the x86 architecture to people would not be questioned any time soon. Mind you, they're caught between a rock and a hard place because they need to be seen to be enforcing it......

Maybe all this was just inevitable anyway? It would certainly please nVidia, amongst others, if this were to blow up nicely.

Edited 2009-03-16 21:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: tisk tisk
by DigitalAxis on Tue 17th Mar 2009 04:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: tisk tisk"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

My understanding is that Intel 64 *IS* AMD64, and Intel licensed AMD's 64-bit extensions via the cross-licensing agreement. My source on this is Wikipedia, which points out they're not completely identical, and doesn't say who VIA licensed their x86-64 implementation from (the VIA Nano is 64-bit)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: tisk tisk
by Treza on Tue 17th Mar 2009 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: tisk tisk"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Now that Intel plans to manufacture Atoms in TSMC Fabs as part of SoC chips, and if these Atoms gets the 64bits extensions (which most of them currently lack), then Intel could have some troubles as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: tisk tisk
by tylerdurden on Tue 17th Mar 2009 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: tisk tisk"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Actually all Atoms have been 64bits from the get go....

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: tisk tisk
by poundsmack on Tue 17th Mar 2009 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: tisk tisk"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

no thats isn't correct. Atom chips with an "N" or a "Z" infront of them are 32 bit chips. This was a terrible move by Intel, thanks for slowing down teh adoption of 64 bit...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: tisk tisk
by segedunum on Tue 17th Mar 2009 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: tisk tisk"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Now that Intel plans to manufacture Atoms in TSMC Fabs as part of SoC chips...

Certainly plausible and it looks like a similar position to what Intel is accusing AMD of being in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: tisk tisk
by segedunum on Tue 17th Mar 2009 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: tisk tisk"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

In reality, what will happen is that there will be a behind-closed-doors meeting, money will change hands and the situation will miraculously resolve itself. There is too much to lose for all concerned.

Reply Score: 3

What's Intel up to?
by bannor99 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 18:04 UTC
bannor99
Member since:
2005-09-15

This sounds like spin to me but I don't see what Intel stands to gain from this except perhaps to try to extort dollars from AMD.
Of course, anything they can do to delay AMD catching up in manufacturing is a win for Intel.
Quite frankly, while I applaud AMD for the design advances they've made commonplace ( largely technology acquired from the Alpha ), they missed an opportunity to catch up to Chipzilla years ago.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What's Intel up to?
by poundsmack on Mon 16th Mar 2009 18:14 UTC in reply to "What's Intel up to?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

some more info

Intel: "Intellectual property is a cornerstone of Intel's technology leadership and for more than 30 years, the company has believed in the strategic importance of licensing intellectual property in exchange for fair value. However AMD cannot unilaterally extend Intel's licensing rights to a third party without Intel's consent," said Bruce Sewell, senior vice president and general counsel for Intel.

"We have attempted to address our concerns with AMD without success since October. We are willing to find a resolution but at the same time we have an obligation to our stockholders to protect the billions of dollars we've invested in intellectual property".

it seems that Intel is not the bad guy here after all. For 6 months now they have been trying to work out this issue with AMD. Thats decent of them, it shows they did not want to rush into a law suite or just do this to try and shut AMD out. ...will be interesting to see how this all turns out

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: What's Intel up to?
by sbergman27 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE: What's Intel up to?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

it seems that Intel is not the bad guy here after all. For 6 months now they have been trying to work out this issue with AMD.

So extortion is OK as long as they've been trying to do it for a long time?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What's Intel up to?
by poundsmack on Mon 16th Mar 2009 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What's Intel up to?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

it doesn't appear to be like that. here's the run down.

1. Intel licenced technology to AMD and only AMD.
2. AMD helps spin a new company (consisting of it's old fab business and more) but this company is not a true subsidiary of AMD.
3. Intel did not give this new company the rights to use its IP. Nor does AMD's licence allow it to reliecence Intel's IP.
4. Intel just wants Global Foundries to play by the same rules everyone else does when a company needs to licence Intel's stuff.

its rather simple really, a lot of sites are just blowing it out of proportion.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: What's Intel up to?
by sbergman27 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What's Intel up to?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If that's the case, and as long as Intel doesn't get paid twice, and as long as the cost is the same, that at least sort of sounds reasonable. Otherwise, I'd say that the situation needs to be monitored by the office of the Attorney General and the EC. After years of Microsoft's antics, I don't have a lot of patience left over for any Intel shenanigans. But at least I can vote with my wallet, depending upon how it turns out.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: What's Intel up to?
by broken_symlink on Mon 16th Mar 2009 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What's Intel up to?"
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I would think the whole reason Intel is going through with this is so they can be paid twice. Otherwise, whats the point?

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: What's Intel up to?
by sbergman27 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What's Intel up to?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well, I would think the whole reason Intel is going through with this is so they can be paid twice. Otherwise, whats the point?

I agree. And that sounds very much "Not OK" and more than a little like an anti-trust investigation might be called for if they persist. It's not like 'W' is still in office to give them a get out of jail free card.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What's Intel up to?
by mckill on Mon 16th Mar 2009 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What's Intel up to?"
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

The issue isn't that Intel is holding up AMD, it's that they don't want other companies getting ahold of their IP in this case some random company in a third world country.

AMD started this by breaking their agreement, so lets stop pointing the finger at Intel.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: What's Intel up to?
by looncraz on Wed 18th Mar 2009 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What's Intel up to?"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

it doesn't appear to be like that. here's the run down.

1. Intel licenced technology to AMD and only AMD.
2. AMD helps spin a new company (consisting of it's old fab business and more) but this company is not a true subsidiary of AMD.
3. Intel did not give this new company the rights to use its IP. Nor does AMD's licence allow it to reliecence Intel's IP.
4. Intel just wants Global Foundries to play by the same rules everyone else does when a company needs to licence Intel's stuff.

its rather simple really, a lot of sites are just blowing it out of proportion.


It is very simple indeed, however you need a slightly corrected timeline:

1. AMD Licensed AMD-x64 to Intel in exchange for certain licensing from Intel.
2. Intel sends Atoms to be made at TMC fab, including AMD-x64 technology.
3. AMD spins off its own fabs to make a new foundry company.
4. Intel complains to AMD, AMD says 'by agreement: if you do it, so can we,' neither can give in without legal mediation as those "people" (I'm sure they're actually just lawyers) doing the talking on either side have no such rights.

Intel can say it one way, AMD another. Who is right depends on reading the agreement, which I haven't done yet.

In any event, if AMD is violating the agreement then so is Intel - which is EXACTLY what AMD says, in very clear and certain legalese ;-)

Given proper wording, it is possible that AMD's assertion (that they could revoke Intel's AMD-x64 license rights without itself losing the right to Intel I.P.) could indeed be true. Not that AMD would want this, it would almost certainly prevent any further licensing deals unless another series of lawsuits were to force Intel's hands. But, it could still possibly be done, in certain situations, by a first breach by either side.

--The loon

Edited 2009-03-18 07:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Patenting = stifles innovation
by Piranha on Mon 16th Mar 2009 18:35 UTC
Piranha
Member since:
2008-06-24

This is a prime example of how patenting stifles innovation. Intel is being a big baby and really needs to be put in its place. I kind of hope this goes to the courts and Intel gets slapped around a bit with a large trout for trying to [again] get a Monopoly in the x86 arena.

This really isn't something we want to see, especially during times where AMD is restructuring and trying to get on their feet again.

This wouldn't be nearly as big of a deal if every OS supported x86 alongside other instruction sets, but unfortunately it IS dominate and squeezes out the other contenders. Hopefully a new, un-patented, instruction set comes out of the dust and gives Intel a run for their money.

Reply Score: 2

intel
by Nex6 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 19:37 UTC
Nex6
Member since:
2005-07-06

Bisiness is bisiness. and a deal is a deal. if intel, licensed to only amd, and amd is trying spin it to somebody else. well then intel every right to protect itself.

Reply Score: 2

from extremetech.com article
by Bounty on Mon 16th Mar 2009 21:38 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2343161,00.asp
"Intel's concern is that establishing a licensed fab allows any potential GlobalFoundries customer to approach the company and legally manufacture a knockoff to Intel's X86 architecture"

Could be that they don't want legal Nvidia x86 processors. Or any other 3rd party for that matter.

Reply Score: 1

Patents should be scrapped
by robinh on Mon 16th Mar 2009 21:51 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

2 problems here:

1) The patents system is totally and utterly broken (particularly in the U.S).

2) Our capitalist system values money above all else.

Ergo, otherwise sane and intelligent people and companies turn in to one-dimensional greed machines (cough, SCO, cough). Why work hard and make something useful (like x86 chips, for example) when you can play the system and make money instead?

We need to trim the patent system heavily, and re-focus our society away from the mindless worship of money. I mean, look where this has got us all (A.I.G, anyone?)

p.s. Aren't we all glad the U.S has spent so much effort forcibly exporting this lovely system to whomever they fell needs it for so long?!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patents should be scrapped
by poundsmack on Mon 16th Mar 2009 21:59 UTC in reply to "Patents should be scrapped"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

ok a few flaws.

1. intel makes TONS of money on patents it holds, infact it could survive as a company without them.

2. Without said money comming in from the licencing of those patents R@D would suffer the most leading to slower updates and less technological advances

3. eh screw it. While i believe the US patent system needs to be refomed I don't think patents should be scrapped. They are needed, but they need to be closer to how pharmasuticals work where the patens expire much faster. that way it will spur inovation faster due to patens expirations.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Patents should be scrapped
by lemur2 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents should be scrapped"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

While i believe the US patent system needs to be refomed I don't think patents should be scrapped. They are needed, but they need to be closer to how pharmasuticals work where the patens expire much faster. that way it will spur inovation faster due to patens expirations.


The only way that patents spur innovation in IT is that companies spend extra R&D dollars to come up with a different system to get around existing patents. Intel's only real advantage in the marketplace is a large base of software products (existing Windows applications) that are distributed as binary executable files, for x86 only.

There is however, a large and ever-growing base of software that is distributed as source code, and which performs equivalent functions. OpenOffice.org, for example, is said to have grabbed about 20% of the installed base of desktop Office suites. Most of this is on x86, but OpenOffice is not constrained to that architecture ... and OpenOfice users can easily move to an alternative architecture if need be.

If Intel push too hard, other architectures and operating systems can perhaps get a foothold in some of Intel's core markets.

Obligatory supporting links:

At stake:
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?no_d2=1&sid=09/03/16/1839231
"At stake is not only AMD's ability to build processors that use Intel's x86 technology, but also Intel's ability to use AMD's x86-64 tech in its CPUs".

Wow. Potentially, no AMD x86 at all, and no x86-64 from Intel. Itanium, anybody?

Other alternative architectures:

On netbooks (ARM):
http://www.product-reviews.net/2008/11/13/arm-netbook-custom-ubuntu...

On high-performance servers (SPARC):
http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/03/09/suns-rock-processor-trac...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_processor

Edited 2009-03-16 22:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

While there are many good architectures they all have limitations:

SPARC: currently only developed by Fujitsu and Sun. While an open standard it hasn't gained much headway.

ARM: ARM has only recently started a push on preformance. While it woul be fine if it offloaded virtually everything to a GPU it isn't suited well for multi aplication work load. this however has improved greatly over the last year and the upcomming products are very promising.

Itanium: I like this chip I do. it's not that hard to code for, and is faily straight forward. downsides is that it is really expensive due to limited quantities and a few other things. the good news is that windows is suported on it and the new Itaniums comming out are smaller faster and cheaper.

Cell: a nightmear to code for, enough said.

PPC: not to hard to code for, loads of linux suport, and freescale has some chips that make great desktop processors.

MIPS: no

x86-64 is good. is it the best archetecture out there? no, but it does what is needed and its a lot better than it used ot be. I don't mind it as the standard and think that this will go away soon as neither side can survive the loss of the other.

Edited 2009-03-16 23:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Patents should be scrapped
by lemur2 on Mon 16th Mar 2009 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents should be scrapped"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

While there are many good architectures they all have limitations: SPARC: currently only developed by Fujitsu and Sun. While an open standard it hasn't gained much headway. ARM: ARM has only recently started a push on preformance. While it woul be fine if it offloaded virtually everything to a GPU it isn't suited well for multi aplication work load. this however has improved greatly over the last year and the upcomming products are very promising. Itanium: I like this chip I do. it's not that hard to code for, and is faily straight forward. downsides is that it is really expensive due to limited quantities and a few other things. the good news is that windows is suported on it and the new Itaniums comming out are smaller faster and cheaper. Cell: a nightmear to code for, enough said. PPC: not to hard to code for, loads of linux suport, and freescale has some chips that make great desktop processors. MIPS: no x86-64 is good. is it the best archetecture out there? no, but it does what is needed and its a lot better than it used ot be. I don't mind it as the standard and think that this will go away soon as neither side can survive the loss of the other.


People don't code for chips any more ... compilers do that.

Did you know that GCC has just gained support for "automatic parallelization"?

Obligatory supporting link:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NzEzNA

That sort of thing could make the multi-RISC-core approach (SPARC, ARM and Cell) a lot more interesting, don't you think?

There is a lot of source code widely available (with no-risk-of-being-sued license terms) that is readily compiled by GCC.

Reply Score: 3

bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

While there are many good architectures they all have limitations:

SPARC: currently only developed by Fujitsu and Sun. While an open standard it hasn't gained much headway.



MIPS: no



What kind of arguments are these? Sparc being an open standard would be a big win for consumers as any one could take it to a bigger market - or design an enhanced SPARC chip, if they have the know-how.

And, MIPS? It has been long stated by many engineers that the MIPS is one of the best designed processors ever. I believe it's for that reason it has been the real platform of choice for computer architecture classes.
Of course, all of those courses eventually focus on x86
( and PPC ) due to their ubiquity.

The greatest obstacle any alternative platform that tries to make headway on the desktop faces is to get Ms to port their OSes and apps.

Reply Score: 1

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

@lemur2
yes I know about automatic parallelization and setting a compiler to go for multiple targets and letting it write the machine code. I write cross platform apps across multiple architectures, including every one i listed ;)

@bannor99

i never said SPARC being an open standard was a bad thing, its a GREAT thing! SPARC is my favorite platform of them all.

Also I agree with you about MIPS its a great architecture, but since SGI no longer makes desktop and server grade MIPS chips, it has turned into the next "likely to die off" architecture ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Patents should be scrapped
by Treza on Tue 17th Mar 2009 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents should be scrapped"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

SPARCs :
Developped also by Gaisler Research, open source GPL version available (LEON3), in some of the satellites flying over your head.

MIPS :
The traditional (32bits) version is expected to be free by now, the awful unaligned accesses patent is no relevant anymore.
There is also the Chineese Loongson, MIPS 64bits, 4 way superscalar (officially licenced from MIPS Tech. by ST for uses outside of China, AFAIK)

Itanium :
Not hard to code ? Really ? Grouping the instructions by 3, using 41bits opcodes, and taking care of dependancies ? I've seen many DSPs more easily manageable than that.

If the many core architecture goes mainstream, with software able to use it, then the x86 may have some contenders, beyond the GPU with many parallel pipes.

Reply Score: 1

Awesome!
by John Blink on Tue 17th Mar 2009 01:42 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

I can't wait for this battle to not happen.

It is so obvious Microsoft will get involved behind close doors.

You might say why. Simply because of AMD64 tech in Intel CPU's.

If to rivals do a whole heap of tech sharing, you can't all of a sudden do legal battles like this, there is no win.

Reply Score: 1

What are the patents relating to?
by kaiwai on Tue 17th Mar 2009 04:15 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

That is the biggest question I want to know; I'm sure there are some generic patents relating to SSE, MMX, and other technologies but I am also sure that it will also include manufacturing processes which have been licensed from Intel. If AMD are going to spin off the manufacturing arm with the eventual result being AMD becomes totally fabless then the question will be relating to the transference of intellectual property pertaining to fabrication from AMD to that said third party. Due to the nature of transferring and whom the original contract was between - Intel has to approve whether the third party have access to those said patents.

Given that AMD is no strategic threat I'd say they are going to have two separate contracts, one for AMD and one for this new entity and life will go back to normal. Too bad journalists are trying to turn this mole hill into a mountain by trying to claim there is something more than just the average business transaction that occurs everyday around the globe.

Reply Score: 3