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Even though some expected Federal Trade Commission to force Intel Corp. to liberalize terms of licenses on its processor buses and x86 instruction set, a market observer said that this is something that is unlikely to happen.

Broadpoint AmTech analyst Doug Freedman said that he did not believe that the courts would support forcing Intel to license contemporary x86 instruction set to more companies. The expectation is completely logical not only because Intel and Advanced Micro Devices are constantly extending the x86 technology with new capabilities, but also because even if Intel is forced to license its own piece of x86 instructions, AMD will be not and a potential new licensee will not be able to make microprocessors fully compatible with AMD’s chips. It should also be stressed that FTC demanded to liberalize x86 license terms so that the license became transferrable when its holders are acquired by third parties.

“We believe attempts were made to resolve the issue non-publicly, but Intel balked at the FTC's requirements to license its buses, as well as x86 processors,” Mr. Freedman wrote in his note to clients and added that the world’s largest maker of chips would receive a favorable ruling on the matter before the end of 2010.

The market observer also believes that the FTC will not be able to bolster competition on the market of chipsets for Intel Corp.’s microprocessors since all the forthcoming chips have integrated memory controllers and graphics cores and hence do not require complex core-logic sets.

Tags: , Intel, AMD, x86, FTC, Business, Nvidia


Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 12/29/09 09:14:48 AM
Latest comment: 01/26/10 07:04:46 PM


When that favorable ruling comes, Intel shareholders should launch a class action lawsuit against the FTC and it's senior officials for maliciously causing damage to the stock price....
0 0 [Posted by: smart1  | Date: 12/29/09 09:14:48 AM]

When that favorable ruling comes, Intel shareholders should launch a class action lawsuit against the FTC and it's senior officials for maliciously causing damage to the stock price....

0 0 [Posted by: sdsdv10  | Date: 12/29/09 11:06:01 AM]

Though it's technically true that the FTC can't force AMD contribute its share of the x86 IP to others, I think AMD has a self-interest in voluntarily doing so. AMD & Intel can possibly setup a jointly-run industry standards body to administer handing out the x86 licenses to whoever wants to pay for it. This would have the needed side-effect of bringing the wild-wild-west that is the x86 instruction set under control.
0 0 [Posted by: bbbl67  | Date: 12/29/09 08:21:19 PM]

open source FTW! I know its too early to predict anything but Chrome OS might be an eye opener!

What about 64 bit? Is it possible for AMD to license it to other since that already gave Intel the license to use it.
0 0 [Posted by: PFX  | Date: 01/26/10 07:04:46 PM]


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