June 28, 2005 4:19 PM PDT

Intel and AMD: A long history in court

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AMD files antitrust suit against Intel

June 28, 2005
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices' long history of competing for microprocessor dominance has landed them in court before.

In the latest salvo, AMD this week filed an antitrust suit in U.S. District Court in Delaware. Here are some key moments in the companies' entwined histories:

1968--Intel is founded by Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore.

1969--AMD is founded by Jerry Sanders along with a team of former Fairchild Semiconductor employees.

Early 1980s--IBM chooses Intel's so-called x86 chip architecture and the DOS software operating system built by Microsoft. To avoid overdependence on Intel as its sole source of chips, IBM demands that Intel finds it a second supplier.

1982--Intel and AMD sign a technology exchange agreement making AMD a second supplier. The deal gives AMD access to Intel's so-called second-generation "286" chip technology.

1984--Intel seeks to go it alone with its third-generation "386" chips using tactics that AMD asserts were part of a "secret plan" to create a PC chip monopoly.

1987--AMD files legal papers to settle the 386 chip dispute.

1991--AMD files an antitrust complaint in Northern California claiming that Intel engaged in unlawful acts designed to secure and maintain a monopoly.

1992--A court rules against Intel and awards AMD $10 million plus a royalty-free license to any Intel patents used in AMD's own 386-style processor.

1995--AMD settles all outstanding legal disputes with Intel in a deal that gives AMD a shared interest in the x86 chip design, which remains to this day the basic architecture of chips used to make personal computers.

1999--Required by the 1995 agreement to develop its own way of implementing x86 designs, AMD creates its own version of the x86, the Athlon chip.

2000--AMD complains to the European Commission that Intel is violating European anti-competition laws through "abusive" marketing programs. AMD uses legal means to try to get access to documents produced in another Intel antitrust case, this one filed by Intergraph. The Intergraph case is eventually settled.

2003--AMD's big technology breakthrough comes when it introduces a 64-bit version of its x86 chips designed to run on Windows, beating Intel, which for the first time has to chase AMD to develop equivalent technology. AMD introduces its Opteron line of chips for powerful computer server machines and its Athlon line for desktops and mobile computers.

2004--Japan's Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) raids Intel offices in Japan searching for documents. Intel cooperates with the investigation but does not agree with the outcome. JFTC officials find that Intel's Japan unit stifled competition by offering rebates to five Japanese PC makers--Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Sony and Toshiba--which agreed not to buy or to limit their purchases of chips made by AMD and Transmeta.

2005--AMD files an antitrust suit against Intel in U.S. District Court in Delaware. The 48-page complaint alleges in detail that Intel has unlawfully maintained its monopoly in the x86 microprocessor market by coercing customers worldwide from dealing with AMD.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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Its About Time
I have been in the IT business from the days of the first Pentium machines, its about time AMD is going after Intel, the entire company has turned into a market powerhouse of rich flithy jerks. 56 Opteron servers to 23 Intel servers....which do I prefer hands down? AMD. I wish them luck this will a great case and believe me, Intel definitly does everything that AMD is saying.
Posted by (8 comments )
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I love AMD to death but...
I love AMD. I have ever since I got the old K6-2 chips. All of the PCs that I build have AMD chips in them. This is the kind of stuff I hate. In my opinion AMD has a better product and has for a long time. This suing the bigger guy gets on my nerves though. This is the first article I think I've ever read that makes me actually lose a little respect for AMD.

This is the first I've heard of Intel doing such things and if they really are doing this sort of thing then yeah they deserve whatever the courts give them as a punishment.

I just hate to see companies throwing out lawsuits when they aren't doing so well. I hope this isn't some scheme to get attention or get some extra cash.

I'll wait and see how this pans out, but it just bothers me. I'll still be buying AMD for now though :)
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
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The battle of egos?
AMDs claim of monopoly is just an Inferiority Complex syndrome.

I don't care about chip manufacturers as long as they don't make faulty products (IBM has a reputation with that), and I'm not fanatical about Intel, AMD or any of them. My ultimate system doesn't exist yet due to too many egocentric manufacturers.

If AMD is suing Intel because of the Intel logo on many comercials from PC manufacturers? Are these people stupid or pretending to forget something? When you see those crappy Dell ads with Intel inside, Intel has to pay for that logo (around 40% of the ad itself) to appear on the first place. So, AMD didn't you know that advertising doesn't come cheap?

I think this lawsuit is typical BS and I'm amazed of how shallow AMD can be to get 15 seconds of fame.

Maybe Intel should sue AMD for false advertising on Opteron 64. Or I guess that AMD doesn't want to talk about that.

Now, did AMD came out with 64 bit chips long before Intel did? Is that accurate description? Is it 64 bit extension or 64 bit architecture? AMD did released 2x32 bit chips that acted as dual-core and for marketing BS they called it 64 bit. It's only in June 2005 that 64 bit coding (extension) was added on AMD chips, and that's not 100% 64 bit either. In the semiconductor industry AMDs claim of 64 bit was a joke and that's why it didn't get much attention or publicity from the industry. But, a lot of consumers that don't know much about chip design bought the marketing BS AMD released and that helped AMD gain some market share. You could say this was false advertising, and most people don't know about it. AMD has a lot of problems releasing a fully 64 bit architecture chip. At the moment the only manufacturers competent of 64 bit architecture are Fujutsu, Texas Instruments, Intel, IBM and Silicone Graphics.

So AMD, you are not that clean as you think. And neither Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Adobe or Intel for that matter too.
Posted by domino360 (41 comments )
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AMD vs. Intel
Couldn't have said it better myself!
Posted by jamestony (7 comments )
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