by Anton Shilov
03/17/2009 | 08:29 AM
Industry experts do not expect any disrupts with further shipments or development of microprocessors by Advanced Micro Devices after Intel initiated legal dispute against its smaller rival claiming that its manufacturing joint venture infringes patents of the chip giant.
“Gosh, I’d worry more about a meteor slamming into the Earth,” said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight64, noting that very few patent lawsuits in Silicon Valley result in either party being forced to halt production, reports ComputerWorld web-site.
Earlier this months AMD and its partner Advanced Technology Investment Company established GlobalFoundries, the joint venture that will produce microprocessors for AMD and others using equipment and technologies inherited from the world’s second biggest supplier of x86 chips. Intel believes that GlobalFoundries infringes its patents and also claims that by creating the manufacturing company, which was previously named The Foundry Company, AMD also disclosed terms of confidential cross-license agreement with Intel.
AMD claims that it has not violated any agreements and notes that it not only owns 34.2% of GlobalFoundries and thus has more than 30% of its profits or losses, but also controls 50% of its board of directors.
For the whole industry it is crucial to have competition between Intel and AMD on the market of x86 central processing units that power virtually all personal computers and the vast majority of servers sold these days. Both analysts and AMD believe that the company will retain its cross-licensing agreement with Intel not only because the whole market needs this, but because Intel also needs AMD’s patents.
“Remember, they need our patents every bit as much as we need theirs,” said Harry Wolin, general counsel at AMD.