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back to article Intel takes out $1.25bn insurance policy

Intel's take on today's settlement of its multiple legal entanglements with rival AMD is simple: we didn't do anything wrong, we're not going to change, and we think $1.25bn is a reasonable amount to spend to avoid trial - and, possibly, to guard against even more-serious legal challenges. Or, as Intel executive vice president …

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Anonymous Coward

Let's hope NY state and the EU fry these criminals

The only justice with Intel is a minimum $500 Billion fine to be paid to AMD and to have the entire lot of executives at Intel sent to prison for ten years for their massive, unending crimes.

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@Let's hope NY state and the EU fry these criminals

The $1.5bn will mean they don't fry. Sad but true.

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WTF?

$1.25 *BILLION* for something they didn't do?

Pull the other one Intel, it's got bells on.

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1.25 billion

...but is it enough to save AMD? When that cross licensing agreement runs out in 5 years, AMD had better have enough intellectual property that Intel requires to cause Intel to renew it. If AMD's shareholders demand that AMD refrain from investing in R&D then this deal is aught but a five-year stay of execution.

1.25 billion matters nothing if in 5 years AMD can’t get their chips fabed anywhere.

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Grenade

Re 1.25 billion

Who do you think owns the 64bit x86 set? The holy ghost? By 5 years the patents which AMD filed when they worked on that idea will be all filed and active and by that time very little stuff will still be running in 32 bits.

Intel hastily implemented (with LOTS of bugs) the pre-release spec without the final errata and a couple of instructions. That got their foot through the door, but unless they cross-license they will find out that the door has a hydraulic "close" pusher attached to it.

AMD is in a similar position with SSE versions from 2 onwards.

So they both have no choice but to crosslisense. Classic case of mutually assured destruction.

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Pint

S1.25 billion

This got me when I read it earlier on the BBC's site; the thing that gets me is why AMD allowed them off the hook - if you've got them by the jugular; why release them from the it for such a silly amount.

The thing is Intel has been doing this for a while and AMD has been hemorrhaging money as a result, they should just have pursued it though anti trust cases in Europe and US.

I'm considering buying an AMD for my next system as it looks like they have finally caught up and I would rather have AMD around as they keep Intel in check otherwise I believe Intel would have a clear monopoly.

Mike

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@Anton Ivanov

I agree with you that AMD64 is a critical bargaining chip for AMD, however remember that the "traditional" cross-licensing agreement was struck back when AMD owned it's own fabs, and specifically prohibited AMD from fabbing x86-based chips with other companies.

5 years from now AMD will be more or less completely disentangled from Global Foundries. Whereas AMD is a competitor to Intel as a semiconductor design outfit, Global Foundries is a competitor to Intel's semiconductor fabrication side.

As strange as it may sound, because AMD is fabless, and because each of those companies own critical pieces of IP related to x86/x64 tech, you may well see an agreement five years hence whereby AMD CPUs are only allowed to be fabbed at Intel-owned plants. This is especially likely if AMD were limited in some way by the agreement to be one process generation behind Intel. (And why not? AMD has been for ages, and it’s worked so far.) It would allow Intel to stretch the life of their fab gear, keeping a given fab on a particular process for potentially an extra 18 months before having to invest in a process shrink.

As long as Intel were to make the chips they want, and not charging them through the nose, AMD shouldn’t really care who make thier chips. Intel would win by keeping AMD a process step behind, ensuring that AMD is still “competition,” but not posing too real a threat. Meanwhile, I would remove a major player from TSMC and Globalfoundries, all the while ensuring their IP doesn’t leak to those companies, which seems for some reason to matter to Intel.

It will certainly be interesting to see what starts happening around the time that agreement is up for renewal. Remember that Intel has proven that they play the long game. Wheels within wheels with these "people".

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Go

Smarter than you think

AMD got the money and can now relax its lawyers. The EU are *still* going to persue intel through the courts and although *direct* litigation from AMD has now ceased it is not going to stop the anti-trust cases. Intel will still need to fight in the courts but only on one side now - not both.

AMD is now two arms remember, I assume that the cross licencing will work on both arms giving free reign to whoever to build in global foundaries - the main sticking point for AMD and the reason intel went for AMD big time. So all the far east companies that dont pay intel tax can now build via AMD "for a small cost".

It is pointless holding out for maybe 5billion in 5 years time with no business in the meantime opposed to 1.25b now and assurance that you can carry on and sell from both arms of your business with impunity.

This is good for AMD.

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