Intel Threatens AMD By Pulling Licensing

Aron Schatz
March 16, 2009

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Looks like Intel has some weight over AMD in the area of licensing. Intel sent a letter to AMD saying they will cut the cross-licensing agreement in 60 days if they don't fix a problem. This has something to do with AMD splitting into a design and a foundry company. AMD will not wholly own the foundry company and there is the problem.


For AMD, the 2001 Intel agreement allows it to manufacture chips using Intel's X86 design and rely on chip foundries for up to 20 percent of their total manufacturing capacity. Intel, meanwhile, receives royalties from AMD, under the deal. The companies, despite their heated legal battles over antitrust matters, have had a long-standing patent and licensing relationship, going back to 1976. But this latest turn of events could result in a change in that relationship. AMD, in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, said Intel sent it a letter that alleges AMD: Committed a material breach of the Cross License through the creation of the company's Global Foundries joint venture and purports to terminate the company's rights and licenses under the cross license in 60 days if the alleged breach has not been corrected.

What about x86-64? And how can this stuff be patentable? Yet another reason why patents stifle innovation.



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