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Timeline Set for Intel/AMD Antitrust Trial 151

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the squaring-off dept.
Vitaly Friedman writes "The stage is set for the biggest tech battle in years: the antitrust lawsuit filed by AMD against rival Intel. What sort of effect is it likely to have on the industry and the consumer? From the article: 'Last year, the company filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, claiming that their rival had "unlawfully maintained its monopoly by engaging in a relentless, worldwide campaign to coerce customers to refrain from dealing with AMD" for more than ten years. AMD has already subpoenaed computer manufacturers, retailers, and even Microsoft to provide documentation pertaining to the case. Now, the timeline has been set for the trial of the Megayear to commence.'"
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Timeline Set for Intel/AMD Antitrust Trial

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  • by Courageous (228506) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @02:14PM (#15181365)
    Is there really that much of a difference between using an Intel chip and an AMD chip?

    Yes. However, it has more to do with the integrated IO fabric (hypertransport) than it does with the aspects of the chip that you consider traditional duties of a chip. The AMD solution is highly differentiated from Intel in this way, although the impact to single-CPU system purchasers is minimal. AMD becomes truly distinct as a platform solution at CPU counts > 2. In this market, Intel really is being hurt by AMD right now.

    C//
  • by twfry (266215) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @03:21PM (#15181635)
    From the limited pieces of info I've seen, the case seems to focus on pricing.

    Basically Intel had capacity to supply over 90% of the market. They would price the first 80% of the chips high and then use "volume discounts" for the last 10% of chips sold, taking them from 80% to 90% market share. Normally this is legal.

    However, the end result was that the "volume discounts" priced the chips between 80% and 90% market share at below the cost to produce them.

    In order for AMD to get more than 10% market share, they had to compete with Intel on this 80% to 90% market share area. But since Intel priced these below cost to manufacture, AMD could not compete.

    From what I've seen Intel could be in serious trouble if this holds up because AMD could claim damages on the revenues of 10% market share over 10 years.
  • by Bozdune (68800) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @03:29PM (#15181654)
    Exactly. You don't have to know anything at all to instantly feel the massive performance difference that AMD provides over Intel on a dual CPU system. On a dual-CPU AMD Opteron we saw nearly a 100% improvement on a CPU-bound multi-threaded app (nature of the app is that it accesses roughly 1G memory in a fairly regular pattern). On Intel dual Xeons we measured only 27% improvement.

    On a non-multithreaded app the two boxes are neck and neck. The above figures are for Opteron 32 bit vs. Xeon 32 bit.

    Plus, I might add, Opteron at 2.8Ghz runs roughly even with Intel at 3.8Ghz benchmark-wise, again on a single CPU basis (differs by motherboard, of course, so your mileage may vary). Don't be hoodwinked by CPU clock speed differences.

  • Re:Timeline (Score:3, Informative)

    by Neoprofin (871029) <neoprofin AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday April 22, 2006 @07:19PM (#15182337)
    Just something I picked up reading random things on /. over the years. But I did a little research in case you were curious about the history of AMD: http://www.digital-daily.com/editorial/amd-history / [digital-daily.com]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD [wikipedia.org]

    So although saying "they were founded to compete with Intel" is incorrect, the part about them not being able to whipe AMD off the map is still pretty true. Due to requirements by chip buyers like IBM and the US military there needs to be at least two chip makes not to mention that, apparently, AMD can legally license quite a bit from Intel keeping technology from becoming far too different, and if they leverage their monopoly too much they risk lawsuits like the kind they're facing now.

    Learn something new everyday I guess.

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