by Anton Shilov
11/15/2009 | 11:53 AM
The new pact between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp. is praised by the partners of two chipmakers. The attitude is hardly surprising, considering the fact that suppliers of personal computers greatly reduced their risks of low x86 chips supplies when Intel and AMD signed the new agreement.
“The settlement is a win-win for both [Intel and AMD], although it may not have much effect on Intel's continuing governmental antitrust investigations around the world,” wrote Jack Gold, principal analyst for J. Gold Associates, in an early analysis of the settlement, reports CRN web-site.
Under the terms of the new agreement, AMD will be able to manufacture its x86 microprocessors on any factory and those production facilities do not have to be qualified as AMD’s subsidiaries. As a result, when Globalfoundries, at present a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company, absorbs recently acquired Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and AMD will become a minor shareholder, the contract maker of chips will be able to manufacture x86 processors. Intel, on the other hand, now has access to patents of ATI, graphics business unit of AMD.
“I was really worried about the x86 cross-license dispute when I heard about it. That could have been disastrous. I understand where this sense of relief is coming from, I'm relieved too,”said Kevin Jacoby, chief executive officer of Rain Recording, a Ringwood, N.J.-based maker of high-performance audio workstations that partners with both Intel and AMD.
In fact, partners of AMD believe that with the new pact AMD’s competitive positions will improve and the company will be able to supply enough chips to its partners. Sincerely speaking, the claims are rather strange: the decreasing market share of AMD is a perfect example of dropping demands towards its chips.
“If AMD can mount a fighting portfolio on server technology, they could win some business from the customers that matter. Our AMD business is doing well on the desktop, but our [AMD] server business collapsed with the Dell deal from several years ago and it's never been the same,” said Joe Toste, a vice president of Equus Computing.
Still, Intel is facing numerous antitrust trials in the U.S. Most recently the company was accused of providing illegal funding to leading makers of PCs in exchange for exclusive use of Intel processors in business desktops and servers. As a result, Intel badly needs a specialist in antitrust lawsuits.