Sunnyvale (CA) – Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel Corporation are currently in a dispute regarding a potential x86 cross licensing agreement breach. Earlier in the month AMD and its partner Advanced Technology Investment Company established GlobalFoundries, a joint venture which would produce microprocessors for AMD among other chips utilizing equipment and technologies from AMD. Intel feels that the use of the equipment by GlobalFoundries for the production of x86 chips is a breach in a cross-licensing agreement between AMD and Intel.
During the most recent communication between the two companies AMD’s lawyer stated Intel would love to see them go out of business.
AMD general counsel, Harry Wolin, said in an interview with Cnet, “I don’t agree with the premise that they have to have us and they think they have to have us [as a competing chip-making company]. I think they would absolutely like us dead … In their perfect world, we wouldn’t exist. If they had to deal with the government every now and then, that’s fine, and they’re still extracting monopoly profits from the industry.”
Intel vehemently denies the concept that they would ever want to see AMD put out of business claiming that their only desire is to make sure that their intellectual property is protected and not shared with unauthorized third parties. In addition, in an interview in 2007 when asked how Intel felt about AMD’s (then recent) financial woes, Justin Rattner told TG Daily that they were a little concerned over AMD in a way similar to that of losing a close friend or business partner. And this was long before AMD’s financial woes had gone on as long as they now have.
A similar sentiment is carried forward today, with Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy stating “It’s nice of them to try to speak for us. AMD has been a competitor for almost 40 years in one form or another. This is not about AMD going away. This is about our rights and AMD’s rights under the patent cross-license agreement.”
With only three companies selling modern x86 microprocessors (AMD, Intel and VIA Technologies), Intel depends on AMD’s competition to avoid accusations of antitrust issues. X86 processors power the majority of laptops, desktops and servers in use today. Without VIA as a true competitor, Intel’s only competition would be AMD. And even so, VIA’s market share and market focus is so small as to only compete with a very small portion of Intel’s total business.
For a humorous take on these events, visit Clara County: x86 cross-license dispute.