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Intel Threatens To Revoke AMD's x86 License 476

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the toddlers-fighting-over-a-toy dept.
theraindog writes "AMD's former manufacturing division opened for business last week as GlobalFoundries, but the spin-off may run afoul of AMD's 2001 cross-licensing agreement with Intel. Indeed, Intel has formally accused AMD of violating the agreement, and threatened to terminate the company's licenses in 60 days if a resolution is not found. Intel contends that GlobalFoundries is not a subsidiary of AMD, and thus is not covered by the licensing agreement. AMD has fired back, insisting that it has done nothing wrong, and that Intel's threat constitutes a violation of the deal. At stake is not only AMD's ability to build processors that use Intel's x86 technology, but also Intel's ability to use AMD's x86-64 tech in its CPUs."
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Intel Threatens To Revoke AMD's x86 License

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  • if they do that (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bugs2squash (1132591) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:08PM (#27215715)
    It's the end of the x86 dominance. People will just look harder to find alternatives.
  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:10PM (#27215745)
    Bah hah hah, silly idealist.

    The two-party system is here to stay in American politics and the x86 stranglehold.
  • MAD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:11PM (#27215765)

    At stake is not only AMD's ability to build processors that use Intel's x86 technology, but also Intel's ability to use AMD's x86-64 tech in its CPUs.

    So, surely this is a case of mutually assured destruction for both isn't?

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hwyhobo (1420503) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:12PM (#27215773)

    People will just look harder to find alternatives

    People who? Do you really think that 99% of the computer users even know what x86 means?

  • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:13PM (#27215793)
    And the answer is... powerPC! But only if someone takes an interest in working on the chip to lower power consumption and heat output. My dual G5 runs great but the sucker sounds like a jet engine taking off when it starts doing something computationally intensive.
  • Business as usual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:14PM (#27215809) Homepage Journal

    Intel and AMD like to squabble about licensing every few years. Probably in an attempt to broker a deal that is even more favorable than the last. They usually spend some time posturing in court, bare their claws a little, then settle with a new cross-licensing agreement. If Intel gets too pushy, the feds start staring at them REALLY hard. Which tends to make Intel fall in line.

    Strictly speaking, Intel's argument is pointless. Yes, their deal is with AMD. But AMD's foundry only manufactures the chips, it does not design them. (Unless I somehow misunderstood their fabless plan.) Since the fab creates the chips on behalf of AMD, the licensing is not violated.

    That's my 2 cents worth, anyway. I'm not a lawyer, but I doubt one would make many more comments without viewing the legalese between the two companies.

  • More... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot&gmail,com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:14PM (#27215813) Homepage Journal

    ... stupid intellectual property bullshit.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:15PM (#27215833)

    -They- being the PC manufacturers that sell most PC's these days. -They- being the OS vendors who would be into a world of hurt trying to support every differing configuration of the x86+ based architectures....

    Since x86_64 is a superset of x86, would this mean AMD couldn't even sell x86_64 based chips either?

  • by davidwr (791652) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:15PM (#27215847) Homepage Journal

    At stake is not only AMD's ability to build processors that use Intel's x86 technology, but also Intel's ability to use AMD's x86-64 tech in its CPUs."

    At stake is money and corporate posturing.

    This is just another day of corporate King Of The Hill.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:16PM (#27215853)
    If x86 dies, which it is in the process of doing, Microsoft will port Windows to run on SPARC, ARM, PPC, whatever comes next. Microsoft has gotten where it is by being good at business, and being good at business does not consist of pushing a dying platform that it has no vested interested in. Windows has been ported to other architectures before, and is inherently portable.
  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:18PM (#27215891)

    I heard this argument when it was "people will stop using windows".

    It's nice to think about and all, but wake me up when it actually happens.

  • by truthsearch (249536) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:18PM (#27215895) Homepage Journal

    Intel will definitely work this out. They're almost forced to license x86 to prevent being labeled a monopoly. Many believe the only reason they licensed it in the first place was to prevent legal action by the justice department. With a competitor making similar chips it's hard to claim they strong-arm computer manufacturers into using their products.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:21PM (#27215939)

    I would have said that 4-6 years ago. But now that Intel retook the thrown for x86 chips, I doubt we will see to many people looking for alternatives.

  • It won't succeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:21PM (#27215945)

    If Intel becomes the exclusive provider of x86 chips, they'll be smacked by the government with anti-trust litigation (Note: I did not say WHICH government, my fellow silly Americans). It was the same with Apple being the company Microsoft pointed to when it was hit with anti-trust. Intel is simply hoping that AMD is too fearful to engage in litigation, or risk folding the business, simply to expose Intel to government action -- they are betting that AMD simply accepts whatever monthly tribute is required by Intel, thus assuring it's continued irrelevance without being wholly dismissed out of the market. If AMD still had its balls, they'd call the bluff and tell Intel to go to hell -- because Intel needs AMD a lot more than they're letting on.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:25PM (#27216029) Homepage

    Strictly speaking, Intel's argument is pointless. Yes, their deal is with AMD. But AMD's foundry only manufactures the chips, it does not design them. (Unless I somehow misunderstood their fabless plan.) Since the fab creates the chips on behalf of AMD, the licensing is not violated.

    It may not be that easy. The Intel/AMD license agreement, for all its notoriety, is completely confidential and thus nobody knows exactly what is in it except for a small number of people at both companies. Despite that, it has long been suspected that part of the agreement is that AMD would not manufacture more than a certain % of its chips at a 3rd party fab, which FoundryCo -- wait, it's GlobalFoundries now, slightly less stupid name -- would almost certainly count as once fully spun off.

    Strictly speaking, though, nobody outside the upper echelons knows. The only thing I'm 100% certain of is that AMD thought about the cross-licensing agreement when they came up with the idea for spinning off the fabs, and would not have done it if they thought it would cost them their license. But of course companies can differ in their self-serving legal reasoning, and who knows maybe they knew they were taking a chance and felt that the global anti-trust inquiries and the threat of losing AMD64 licensing would keep Intel playing ball?

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:25PM (#27216039)
    Yes. You said it yourself: x86-64 is a superset of x86; the architecture is reliant on instructions from the legacy set. No license to the legacy set, no dice on building the superset.

    But that's okay, because there's no way Intel would ever pull the trigger. This is just corporate posturing to get a better crosslicensing agreement and a slice of the Foundry's pie. They'll fight it out for a couple more weeks and then a "settlement" will be reached behind some closed doors, probably with the Foundry agreeing not to mint over N non-x86 chips and some cash changing hands in whichever direction.
  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tiber (613512) <josh.knarr@gmail.com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:27PM (#27216061) Homepage

    HAHAHAHA.

    I'm on my way to buy SUN stock right now.

    Oops, maybe not.

    OK, I'm off to buy stock in HP!

    Errr...

    I'm going to purchase some DEC stock!

    Oh fooey.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:28PM (#27216069) Homepage Journal

    Windows is inherently portable? Thus speaks someone who hasn't tried switching the motherboard and CPU between Intel and AMD on a HP box, and watched Windows failing to boot because the OEM only included a HAL library for one of them.

    Yes, there were Alpha and MIPS versions of Windows NT. No, there haven't been any for a long, long time. If it was just a matter of passing a different CPU flag at the top level of the compiler, it would have cost MS next to nothing to continue to provide support for XP, Vista and W7. Windows has become quite married to x86 over the years, and I doubt that switching would be trivial.

    And, of course, it wouldn't do much good if Windows would run on a different CPU, if all the apps which people run aren't also recompiled for the new CPU. Windows binaries aren't exactly p-code...

  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:30PM (#27216105)

    Windows is not the issue... the millions of x86-dependent applications would be the issue. This isn't Linux where you just apt-get the version for your architecture.

    They'd have to do something in emulation like Apple did with Rosetta, but then the non-x86 version of Windows would run most applications slowly and so PC magazine and consumer reports and your friendly neighborhood geek would recommend sticking with x86, since MS doesn't have Apple's option of simply making the old architecture go away.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:30PM (#27216107)
    Windows is still maintained on Itanium; both it and the Alpha port could run x86 binaries at close to native (or, at one point in the Alpha's lifetime, faster.) I'm no Microsoft fanboy, but I don't think they're stupid.
  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:42PM (#27216291) Homepage Journal

    Just like apple was in a world of hurt when they dropped the more elegant PowerPC for ix86?

    Yup, really killed them off didn't it.

    ( I still think it was a bad move, but no sense harping on it now.. )

    A complete change over would allow a more controlled HAL standard to be developed too.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:45PM (#27216347)
    We have virtualization now - If I can run a legacy app in a dos box, who cares what the actual hardware is?
  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grave (8234) <.awalbert88. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:47PM (#27216393)

    Intel has no intention of preventing AMD from making x86 chips, because they know they'll be unable to manufacture any of their own chips as well (with x86-64 licensing coming from AMD). This is purely meant to ensure that anybody who might come along and acquire the foundry business doesn't wind up trying to produce their own x86 chips. Or at least, I'd like to believe such...truthfully, I wouldn't put it past Intel to just be making a money grab here.

    Either way, holding AMD in violation of their agreement means they would effectively forfeit 64-bit licensing rights as well, and that makes no sense for them.

  • Re:MAD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by powerlord (28156) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:49PM (#27216439) Journal

    Something like that, but not perfectly symmetrically. While x86_64 is well-enough established that it would be inconvenient for Intel to have to go back to x86 and build a new, non-derivative extension with similar capabilities, it would be less of a problem for them than AMD losing the rights to use x86-anything.

    Like heck.

    It would force both AMD and Intel to pull their chips temporarily.

    The only thing Intel could sell is the Atom (32 bit only), and the original version of the Core (again, 32 bit only).

    Yeah ... they'd still have a product to sell on the market, but a staggering amount of their products (most of the Core line) would simply stop.

    Likewise AMD would still have the Geode and other chips to sell, but their desktop/server line would have to stop.

    MS would probably continue okay (I hear Win7 runs okay on the Atom and old Core processors), but it would mean that we'd be back at 32bit limits for things like memory.

    The groups that would be hurt the most (beyond AMD and Intel)? Computer retailers like Dell and Apple (whose products would have to be redesigned), and the American computer economy as a whole (I'm sure you'll be able to find AMD and Intel chips made in China that would keep shuffling off the assembly line just fine).

  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LandDolphin (1202876) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:49PM (#27216449)
    I don't normally do the "Mod Parent Up" comments, but this really deserves it.

    But that's okay, because there's no way Intel would ever pull the trigger. This is just corporate posturing to get a better crosslicensing agreement and a slice of the Foundry's pie. They'll fight it out for a couple more weeks and then a "settlement" will be reached behind some closed doors, probably with the Foundry agreeing not to mint over N non-x86 chips and some cash changing hands in whichever direction.

    That pretty much sums it all up. Grandstanding.

  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Monday March 16, 2009 @04:56PM (#27216563)

    First of all, AMDs foundry probably is considered to have inherited the licence so I dont know if Intels claims really hold up.

    Its been a long time since the chip architecture and schematic of AMDs chips have been directly based on Intels, if they ever have been. The only thing they share is the instruction set. Instruction sets are basically a language or communication protocol and these should not be copyrightable, just as someone could not copyright HTML, IM protocols or English. Only an implementation of software of these can be copyrighted not the language itself.

    In my opinion, AMD does not need any licence to implement the ISA in the first place, just as a licence is not required to implement an SQL server or a computer language. Languages are simply not copywritable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:01PM (#27216689)

    Starting over has been tried at least two ways I know of... Itanium and transmeta. Both have failed miserably. Care to bet on what would happen if some other one tried to come out?

  • Re:Poor Microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nonicknameavailable (1495435) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:08PM (#27216805)
    with FUD
  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:10PM (#27216865)

    Virtualization makes the host arch less important, but we generally don't run a virtual instance of a different hardware platform. The reason is that there's a really high penalty of either recompiling (with the possibility of bugs) or full instruction emulation which makes runtime performance horrrrrrrible.

    Most modern virtualization systems will run the guest OS almost natively using CPU's virtualization extensions to make the magic happen without much overhead.

    Try running Windows on an ARM or PPC x86 emulator and see how long it takes before throwing your hands up in slowness frustration.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by socsoc (1116769) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:13PM (#27216907)

    Microsoft has gotten where it is by being good at business, and being good at business does not consist of pushing a dying platform that it has no vested interested in.

    So now they just push a dying os that they have a vested interest in?

  • by TinheadNed (142620) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:17PM (#27216995) Homepage

    The tiny problem with Dubai is its money isn't made in oil, but in banking and tourism. One good indicator of how fucked its economy is, is that they're passing a law banning journalistic discussion of the economy.

    And all the new building projects are being shelved as well.

    http://www.kippreport.com/kipp/2009/01/21/what-freedom-of-speech/ [kippreport.com]

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:18PM (#27217003) Journal

    But that's okay, because there's no way Intel would ever pull the trigger. This is just corporate posturing to get a better crosslicensing agreement and a slice of the Foundry's pie.

    RTFA carefully.
    By alleging that AMD is violating the agreement, Intel can pull the trigger on AMD and still use AMD's patents.
    Because of Intel's threat, AMD is saying that they can pull the trigger and still use Intel's patents.

    It's an interesting game of chicken that they're both playing.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kasperd (592156) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:20PM (#27217047) Homepage Journal

    Since x86_64 is a superset of x86, would this mean AMD couldn't even sell x86_64 based chips either?

    Is it time for AMD to make some more steps in throwing out the heritage from x86? Yes an x86-64 CPU can run in backward compatible 16 and 32 bit modes. In fact they still start up in 16 bit mode from which they have to be switched to 32 and then 64 bit mode. But the 64 bit mode could have done more to remain backwards compatible with old 16 and 32 bit code, however at the time AMD made the bold decision to allow some old software to not work in the 64 bit mode. Maybe it is time to take another step in getting rid of the heritage. How about making it possible for the CPUs to start up directly in 64 bit mode? That would be a natural next step towards completely getting rid of the backward compatible modes. The 64 bit instruction set can hardly be called the same instruction set as the 32 and 16 bit ones, first of all it is 64 bits, and it also has more general purpose registers. Those are clear distinctions from the old instruction set, and it was created by AMD, so I don't think Intel could prevent them from using it. I know you can run 16 and 32 bit code in the 64 bit mode, and a lot of people still use it (at least the 32 bit code), but I still think we are at the point where the 64 bit AMD ISA is more important than the 32 bit Intel ISA.

  • by Xtravar (725372) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:22PM (#27217091) Homepage Journal

    Dubai is sinking like a rock lately. Overpriced real estate, overpriced living, with nothing of substance behind it.

    http://smashingtelly.com/2009/02/15/bye-bye-dubai/ [smashingtelly.com]

  • Re:if they do that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by turgid (580780) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:27PM (#27217185) Journal

    So, if the AMD cross-licensing agreement goes away and there isn't serious competition for Intel in the x86 world, I'd expect Microsoft to start supporting alternatives.

    Windows already ships by the million on PowerPC hardware: XBox 360.

    Before the XBox 360 came out, the development environment that Microsoft was supplying was Windows ported to Power Mac hardware (G5 I believe).

    AMD x86 processors aren't going away, though. This is intel just flexing its muscles, spreading FUD to get AMD's share price down and to scare consumers away from its chips.

    All of these big technology companies have patent cross-licensing deals with each other. You'd better believe that intel can't survive without AMD's patents, and AMD can't survive without intel's, or Sun's, HP's, Microsoft's, TI's, FreeScale's... and so on.

  • by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:40PM (#27217443)

    If Intel gets too pushy, the feds start staring at them REALLY hard. Which tends to make Intel fall in line.

    One remedy used in the past for monopolies is to take it's patents and trade secrets and place them in the public domain. Even if Intel were to win a complete victory, they could end up losing it all.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hattig (47930) on Monday March 16, 2009 @06:05PM (#27217827) Journal

    Every?

    Business apps are written in .NET, Visual BASIC and Java.

    Maintained applications would get recompiled - Microsoft would surely provide an easy means to compile to the new architecture! Apple managed it with far less resources. Twice.

    It would be a risk, but on a five year plan ... maybe not.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mmkkbb (816035) on Monday March 16, 2009 @06:13PM (#27217965) Homepage Journal

    Why? Apple, Microsoft, and Sony (at the least) have all changed architectures without losing all binary backward compatibility.

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frieko (855745) on Monday March 16, 2009 @06:17PM (#27218017)
    Misconception. RISC may be more elegant but it is less efficient. Translation and register renaming take up tiny amounts of die compared to the instruction cache savings of x86.
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Monday March 16, 2009 @06:53PM (#27218515)

    I wish Slashdotters would stop with the incessant "x86 sucks" mantra. You're all fools.

    There's plenty of crufty old instructions in the x86 ISA; no modern compilers generate them though, so no one cares that they're there. They take up a couple pages in the ISA manual I guess. The die area it takes to implement them is totally, completely insignificant. They're either in microcode (along with a bunch of other really useful instructions) or the hardware already exists for some other reason.

    There's plenty of crufty segmentation and weird ways of laying out memory and whatnot; no modern OS uses that though, so no one cares that it's there. And again with the ISA manuals and some transistors. And there's plenty of modern paging and flat memory models and whatnot too.

    AMD and Intel both know how to make good, fast, and (relatively) small hardware to decode variable-length x86 instructions. Yes, of course an x86 decoder is bigger (i.e. more expensive, more difficult to implement, etc.) than a RISC fixed-length decoder, but again, no one cares because we already know how to do it fast enough and cheap enough. Check out an x86 die photo sometime; most of it is cache. Probably about 1/50th is decoder.

    And CISC-style+variable-length instructions get you a smaller code footprint and thus better instruction cache utilization vs. what you'd get with a fixed-length instruction stream. Examples: common ops get shorter instructions, there are more flexible addressing modes, more flexible sources/dests within a single instruction, you get one x86 instruction (no more than 15 bytes) to do what would take multiple RISC-style instructions (probably more than 15 bytes).

    Sure there's the crufty x87 floating point stack. But there's also the shiny new SSE/SSE2/SSE3/whatever instructions, and modern compilers can exclusively use SSE/SSE2 to do the exact same thing (-mfpmath=sse does it in gcc). And again, die area for x87 FP stuff isn't a big deal since a lot of the hardware is shared with SSE.

    ISA extensions have been added to cover all the newfangled SIMD stuff and virtualization you can want. AMD64 covers 64-bit stuff. And 64-bit stuff gives you extra registers too (8 extra integer, 8 extra SSE for a total of 16 each), which is great and a nod to the large number of registers that RISC machines give you.

    In short, what the hell is everyone bitching about?

  • Re:if they do that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday March 16, 2009 @06:59PM (#27218577) Homepage
    Aside from the problems mentioned here [slashdot.org], there's also the other issue that as soon as they exposed/permitted the native core instructions to be used, people would use them and they'd have to support them forever .

    (Disclaimer: I don't know that much about chip design, and some bits of the next paragraph may be misleading, half-remembered or misrepresent Intel's motives.)

    IIRC, during the x86's long development (or mutation), Intel added some features because they could, and because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Some of those features were never much used, or turned out to be not such a good idea, or were rendered mostly irrelevant by design changes in the next generation. Still, once they'd been included they had to support them for evermore, because they couldn't risk breaking compatibility with code that *did* use them.

    Now, I assume that the current chips' RISC cores was designed because it suits Intel's current way of implementing the x86-emulation/execution (and as the other guy said, wasn't designed for end-user/program use). If Intel come up with a smart, new and totally different design/architecture, the way things stand, they could simply replace it with a different core that used different microcode instructions, and change the x86 "wrapper".

    If Intel had exposed the microcode of the previous generation, they'd either have to stick with the old core architecture, or include it as emulation. Except because it was emulated, it probably wouldn't run as fast, and old (i.e. *existing*) programs that used the old microcode would probably run slower on the new chips. So they'd be forced to stick with the old architecture.

    (Essentially it's the hybrid software/hardware equivalent of (e.g.) someone exposing the implementation details of a Java class simply because they "can" or "someone might want to use it". If in future they want to redesign that class in a more efficient manner, they have to worry about code that used the old implementation's internal workings.)

    All because they exposed some microcode functionality which wasn't even meant to be anything more than a "black box" implementation detail- unsuitable for general use- in the first place.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @07:07PM (#27218675)

    x86 has been a RISC design for a long time now. It just translates in hardware from x86 to the internal RISC engine's language. So it's getting all of those wondrous benefits already.

    In fact, an unexpected side effect of this is nice instruction set compression. With RISC you have to issue several ops to do what one x86 op could accomplish. Each instruction takes bandwidth that the x86 has saved. Therefore the x86 actually gets better performance.

    I still say ARM is in a position to dominate as a platform. Despite all Intel has done it just can't even come close on energy efficiency.

    Soon the general purpose computer will leave the desk and make its way into our pockets. Very few people will need or even want a full sized computer. Just like now most people now choose laptops over desktops. Then laptops to netbooks. And in the not too distant future, cell phones will do everything most people would want to do short of writing complex software, full length novels, or anything else requiring lots of typing. Even then maybe that's possible, too. But we're going to get there sooner on ARM than x86.

  • by irieken (871019) on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:10PM (#27220007)
    Yes, VIA is still around, and they make some decent little 64-bit x86 processors that sell under the name Nano.

    The Nano processor actually does a pretty good job of holding its own against the Atom; edging ahead in almost every area, except for power consumption.
  • Re:if they do that (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @09:24PM (#27220157)
    I think you missed something here. The revocation of the 64 bit licenses would mean that intel would not be able to sell any of their current CPU's (except for maybe some models of the atom). There isn't some magic "remove infringing IP" from all of our designs wand. A stalemate at this point would be disastrous for both companies. This is nothing more than intel grandstanding. It will be settled privately long before it ever reaches a courtroom.
  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@yaho o . com> on Monday March 16, 2009 @10:10PM (#27220535) Journal

    Linux users would be less screwed since everything is open source - same apps, just new binaries to work with your old data. Windows users would be screwed royally since they would almost certainly have to relicense/repurchase all their apps, or run their old ones in emulation. But apple got away with it...

  • Re:if they do that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@gmSTRAWail.com minus berry> on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @09:12AM (#27223967) Homepage Journal

    "...the majority of the world is still running 32bit OS..."

    Yeah, but Intel would lose the entire server market.

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