So AMD is suing Intel. First, I'd suggest reading through the 48-page complaint filed by AMD. Given that Vinney is in law school, I've seen a few of these things, but this one is surprisingly legible even for us non-legal types :)

I've known about this sort of stuff for quite some time, in fact, I'd say that out of the 48 pages AMD's legal team put together there's a lot missing. AMD told me that they aren't putting all cards on the table, but here are a couple of other things that I've seen personally:

I can't even begin to count the number of times where motherboard manufacturers have told me that they could not:

1) Send an AMD motherboard for review
2) Promote an AMD motherboard
3) Let us take pictures of an AMD motherboard

Out of fear of Intel retaliation. Remember the original Athlon days when no motherboard manufacturer would dare make a board for the K7? All of the frightened manufacturers were afraid of them losing their Intel chipset allocation if they supported the K7.

The same sort of stuff happened during the i820 days. Intel's first RDRAM based chipset was a complete flop, yet they offered no real SDRAM alternative. VIA did however, and Intel punished those manufacturers who didn't promote their i820 platforms or who too eagerly embraced VIA's solutions.

The list goes on and on.

What's my take on it? I'm all for competition based on technology and technological merit. Whenever Intel was faster we'd recommend them, and whenever AMD was faster, we'd do the same for them. Luckily, you all get it: AMD's market share among our readership is around 50% because you all generally purchase based on technology, performance and a lot of you are building your own systems, so these issues don't directly affect you. Obviously the rest of the market doesn't work that way, and I'd be glad to see that change; it benefits the end user and that's all I care about.

Right now AMD builds the best desktop CPUs, Intel offers the best value on dual core desktop CPUs and Intel has the best mobile chips. It would be nice if the entire market purchased based on those purely technological comparisons.

What will come of AMD's lawsuit? AMD told me that they are in this for the long haul and they aren't expecting to even go to trial in the next 18 months. I'm not sure what the end result will be, but I do know that things aren't entirely balanced today; and I am a fan of anything that drives innovation and produces better overall products for the end users.

One thing is for sure: I would hate for just AMD or Intel to exist, we need both and we need balance. If this lawsuit results in more balance and better competition based on technology rather than marketing ability, then more power to AMD.

Your thoughts?


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  • Broken - Monday, July 4, 2005 - link

    #61- You're either a closed-minded European or a a very, very stupid American to refer the the 'right to make money' as a constitutional right. The United States is the most powerful country in the world with the most fair/productive implementation of a free-market economy around. We do draw the line at unfair business practices. We prosecute CEOs that bleed the company dry. The constitution gurantees life, libery, and the pursuit of happiness - and pretty much nothing else - especially when referring to business. Christ. That was the most brain-dead post I have seen in a long time. I feel for you and your family. Reply
  • Duracell - Monday, July 4, 2005 - link

    #61, It's one to compete for profits. That's fine. But when one prevents others from gaining profits through illicit means (basically bribing other companies to use their products), it's where you draw the line. Reply
  • Broken - Monday, July 4, 2005 - link

    Great post, 48. Yes, the commodity machine does make the money for companies in cars, computers, pretty much anything, but the performance image parlays itself to marketing everything the company sells, eventually. Enough years of AMD kicking ass will catch up with Intel eventually. The twentysomethings that now realize what is going on become 30 and 40 somethings making purchasing decisions for major corporations.

    Oh, and for every 'courtesy' that Intel gives their customers, there are dozens more negative impacts that their business practices have on consumers.

    And as for Intel being 'smarter' than AMD at selling processors: WAKE THE *UCK UP. Is the CEO that steals millions from his company 'smarter?' How 'smart' was Intel in trying to force Rambus down our throats as a standard? The failed 1.13 Ghz PIII was very smart. Almost as smart as the 'hyperpipelined' arch. of the P4 that has resulted in thermal issues that have killed it. In fact, Intel is so smart, they 'decided' to go ahead and support AMD64 extentions in new processors. Oh, and AMD adopted DDR 2 years before Intel was 'smart' enough to do it.

    Intel's marketing tricks and overall lack of any business ethics in dealing with competition is truly sickening. I will not support it. The company for whom I make purchasing decisions will not support it. (well, they didn't on the last 15 servers we bought - because I presented the options to our board)
  • Steve Husted - Monday, July 4, 2005 - link

    All I see here is a lot of hearsay. "Intel strongarms OEMs." Okay, where's the proof? You trust AMD saying it? Someone had it right - AMD stands to gain 50% stock price if they win. I don't trust them for that very reason.

    Further, I believe Intel is dominant because they're just smarter about how they go about selling processors. Co-branding, co-marketing, actually enabling the market for new technologies before rolling them out (can you say "2 years without a 64bit version of Windows," AMD?), visiting customers to enable them - even rewriting code for their customers. I'm sure there's much more.

    Does AMD do all this? Maybe you should take a step back before you judge and look at the whole picture.

    I am running Intel processors in my systems. The extra 5fps (when you're already getting 150fps) is probably the dumbest argument I've ever seen. Enthusiasts that care to squeeze every frame don't drive the market, Anand, and never will - just like motorheads that tweak out every last horsepower don't drive Detroit's market. I thought you would understand that.

    Yes, a Chrysler 300C is way better than a Camry but the Camry will always sell better, mostly because of history - which brings us back to AMD.

  • Ab2kgj - Sunday, July 3, 2005 - link

    the problem with "free market" is when these privelages are abused they hurt the concept of competition and in the end equate to higher prices for the end user. In fact, free market is not what is practiced in the US. we practice a mostly free market with boundaries set up by the SEC and other government organizations. My friends always say that its funny that capitalism in its purest form is horrible, whitnessed by companies such as Standard oil, Microsoft, Tyco, Worldcom, Enron, and now, Intel, and must be mitigated and restricted to protect the economy from collapse and inflation to skyrocket due to monopolies. on the other hand communism is a good system when practiced perfectly, but any dilution of it results in the fascist dictatorships witnessed in china, russia, and the USSR. The fact is that Intel is clearly raping AMD by making sure that they cannot sell their products to major OEMs, and prevent AMD from successfully marketing their products, which would increase competition, and thus lower prices, which is what capitalism is supposed to achieve, thus making the system self-defeating. it is at that point that we need to step in and say "enough" and make AMD whole.

  • pmrdij - Sunday, July 3, 2005 - link


    i'm glad i read on a major publication in my lifetime what you mentioned about Motherboard Manufacturers. i love how they try to debunk the Chipset allocation issue.. i've been arguing that point just as an End-User for about seven years against Intel fanboys.

    i remember how a link would surface on THG directing everyone to a K7 Motherboard product page on ASUS's Website and almost immediately after traffic started coming into that such it would vanish. for the longest time the only information you could find on a K7 solution was to go look at the product box at your Local Distributor (which Intel reps could easily do if they wanted to check on their Mobo clients dealings). i swear of all things FIC was the only Manufacturer whom from the start maintained any information publicly regarding their K7 Mobo. FIC!!

    Intel has made some good products over the years but their business tactics are appalling. if it were not for such tactics i would own a Pentium M and a variety of other Intel products.

    Robert - (PmR)DeathInJune
  • Alan - Saturday, July 2, 2005 - link

    yes its clearly a free market, but antiturst laws still exist. free market does mean that you can do whatever you want in the name of capitalism, are you also upset that it's illegal to sell cocaine? considering how profitable the drug industry is it would also be to quote you "a smarter business strategy" however it is illegal because cocaine turns people into worthless sacks of crap, and thus cocaine is detrimental to the nation's greater good.
    the same theory is the reason for our antitrust laws, if a monopoly is allowed to squeeze out all competition then they are able to spend less money on development while raising prices, because there is no competition. on both counts the results of a monopoly are detrimental to the nation and even to the world. i agree that some of the things AMD states in the claim do sound like they are just better strategies by Intel, but also some of the things in there are clearly illegal and hurting the entire industry as well as the consumers.
    Furthermore, you say that dell and HP should be allowed to choose to go entirely with AMD, however the reason Intel is being sued for this is Intels practices, threats and bribery. while this may or may not be true, AMD has the right to a hearing about it.
  • plonk420 - Saturday, July 2, 2005 - link

    "I always hear that Intel has better stability, faster MHz and all the typically things from customers who hardly knows that AMD exists."

    the only time i've run into a stability problems on my AMD system was when a cord prevented my cpu fan from spinning, and just yesterday when i left my window open and it rained on my computer. i think it was just a mouse that shorted something and crashed it. it was back up and running a few hours later, running distributed computing and video encoding ever since
  • Anonymous - Saturday, July 2, 2005 - link

    i'll say it again, there is no transmeta anymore,
    and linus left them before that anyways.

    i agree in premise with a lot of the things you said, but there are laws, and if AMD can prove Intel broke those laws (years ago?), then Intel's wallet will hurt.

    but i believe i read somewhere that AMD also in addition to proving Intel broke these laws, needs to prove that Intel is a monopoly. and i don't think anybody can say that intel is a legel, recognized monopoly (in the legal sense of the word).

  • stat - Saturday, July 2, 2005 - link

    That X360/PS3 article was pure malarky, btw. This guy Anand should be ashamed of himself for writing that trash up. The X360 and PS3 will both be extremely powerful gaming platforms, in spite of what and of you geeks might want to think. Reply

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