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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  • Omihall - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    Man guess Anand couldn't take the heat. PS3 and XB360 article yanked real fast. Really needs some major revisions as to how it would run with PROPER code written specifically for it. Reply
  • Luke Florer - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    For those that wondered "Why Intel rather than AMD?" for the Apple announce, I believe this is your answer. Reply
  • viditor - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    One other consideration that was pointed out to me by an Intel supporter (Questar)...

    This is a CIVIL suit brought by AMD for damages. This is NOT a criminal case...
    That means a few things:

    1. AMD must only prove that THEY were harmed by Intel's actions...they need not prove the public was harmed.
    2. If the DOJ finds enough supporting evidence as this case unfolds to show that the public was ALSO harmed, they can file an additional criminal suit.
    3. The OEMs that were barred from trade by Intel's actions would also have a civil case, and just might join AMD in this suit...
  • JonasB - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    #27, some of us 38 year olds do know about AMD chips. My last Intel chip was the 80486. Since then, all AMD:
    XP 1800 - Win98. 7 year old son's Internet PC.
    XP 2000+? - XP. Email PC.
    A64 3200 - W2K3 Server. Main PC. Development.
    A64 3200 - XP64. Gaming PC. BF2 and FarCry.
    A64 3500 ZV6000 Laptop.
    A64 3500+ 939 - gonna get tonight at the Techtour.

    On topic. Good timing for AMD, what with the new FAB going online.
  • Screwballl - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    As a tech, i recommend what the customer wants. If someone comes in with the preconceived notion that Intel is the ONLY cpu out there then i teach them the difference. If they still want intel then i sell them intel and put more money in my pocket. Herein lies the problem. The older generation (30s-40s) who still think AMD is stuck in the K6-K7 days and don't know will still use Intel. It is us younger (18-30) generation that is helping to fuel AMD sales and to teach others about what is out there. Some still are stubborn and partake in the fanboy frame of mind but hey, they're uneducated and refuse to learn (this goes for both sides).
    Anand hit the nail on the head here and gives a properly explained reason as to WHY AMD is filing this lawsuit.
  • Mike Luddy - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link


    Congrats for being impartial over the years. I'm an AMD fan, and have been so for a long time. All we ask for is fairness... we think in a level playing field, AMD will frequently dominate.

    Regarding timing - AMD has a new fab coming on... this time they're not willing to convert the old one to flash... so, the publicity of the suit may help fill FAB36!

  • Snipe65 - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    I'm thinking that the lawsuit will keep Intel on its toes. It'll think twice about offering "rebates" to copmanies to use Intel only cpus. It'll basically level out the playing field while Amd's new fab starts producing processors. Plus they can use the Japanese ruling as evidence.
  • JonB - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    AMD waited until now because they won't be accused of being like SCO/Linux. AMD has good press about their processors now, their pricing and availability aren't problems. Heat is only a problem to those who read old trade journals found in Dentist offices.

    AMD will not appear to be suing just to get money to keep their doors open but because they really are a threat to INTEL's profit margin and that INTEL is clearly practicing illegal, anti-competitive techniques on all fronts.

    It is the best time to file. It will also be the best time for INTEL to settle out of court for "an undisclosed amount." I hope AMD doesn't take the money, though.
  • TheChefO - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    AMD Picked the perfect time to roll on this. The new fab should be coming on board soon, they have top notch products across the board, and Intel has a very weak outlook for the next 18 months.

    Any idea when we may see your followup article with Developers comments?
  • Fluggo - Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - link

    I hope AMD wins this one so everyone sees what's going on behind the scenes. I always buy AMD CPU's and always recommends them when I get the question.I work for a IT company in sweden that sells mostly Fujitsu-Siemens computers which translates to only Intel cpu's in them. This sucks when there is better alternatives.

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

    Intel has become the Microsoft of cpus...

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