updated 11:30 am EDT, Mon March 16, 2009
Intel May Cut AMD License
Intel today escalated confrontations between itself and competitors by telling AMD that it would eliminate the cross-licensing deal that grants AMD permission to use Intel patents for building x86-compatible processors. AMD is accused by Intel of having violated a 2001 license by having spun off its factories as GlobalFoundries and farmed out manufacturing of AMD's chips, including the Athlon, Phenom and Opteron lines, to the new company. Intel is asking AMD to resolve the problem within 60 days, which may include renegotiating a new license.
AMD itself claims that Intel's attempt breaches the 2001 deal, which lets AMD end Intel's own rights in the agreement while keeping its own. The processor maker has also said it will go through Intel's formal procedures for resolving these disputes.
Intel, in turn, said it believes AMD is being "inconsistent" by claiming that a notification of a license violation is itself a violation and claimed that the public conflict is the result of unsuccessful negotiations between the two that have been ongoing since October of last year.
While the legal grounds for either side's case aren't yet evident, Intel has lately been criticized for allegedly using changing hardware or company relationships to take greater control of the processor business. The semiconductor firm recently accused NVIDIA of violating mainboard licensing by claiming that its earlier rights to make Intel-friendly mainboards didn't apply to any chips using the QuickPath memory and peripheral Interface, which is built into all Core i7 and newer Xeon processors.