The AMD Execution Thread [2007 - 2017]

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by overclocked_enthusiasm, May 28, 2007.

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  1. silent_guy

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    Could be that Intel never saw Transmeta as enough of a threat to warrant patent litigation.
     
  2. pcchen

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    I read a bit on Transmeta's history, and interestingly Transmeta sued Intel in 2006 for its LongRun technology, and Intel counter sued. It ended with a settlement and Intel agreed to pay Transmeta US$150m in addition to US$20m per year for licensing Transmeta's patent portfolio.
    It could be that Intel never saw Transmeta as a big enough threat worth suing, but when they counter sued they only sue with 7 patents (not sure which, but if it's x86 ISA related Intel wouldn't need to settle with Transmeta).
     
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  3. silent_guy

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    Interesting, I didn't know that!

    Intel doesn't seem to very good at IP litigation.
     
  4. spworley

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    Transmeta sued Intel first , Intel countersued with its own set of similar patents (mostly about low power). They settled. Intel got a license to use Transmeta's patents, Transmeta got $230M, but also agreed never make any more x86 compatible chips.
    So Transmeta was enough of a threat that Intel added the specific "no more x86" clause to the agreement.
    It might have been moot by then (Transmeta had already failed financially) but Intel nontheless didn't want more x86 competition.
     
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  5. Ryan Smith

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    It's the same story with NVIDIA as well. When Intel and NVIDIA settled their fight over access to Intel's processor buses, they were specifically disallowed from pursuing an x86 chip or emulating x86.
     
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  6. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    As semi-related to this, the russians newest Elbrus CPU can run x86, too (in similar manner as Transmeta, apparently)
     
  7. spworley

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    As does the Chinese Loongsoon.
     
  8. 3dilettante

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    It is also not the only case where lawsuits happen after a company's chip-making days are over. Intergraph sued Intel over performance features in its chips after the chips that would have used them were scrapped.

    The number of litigants that want to sue Intel while they have existing business that Intel's broad IP holdings could scuttle is small. These didn't meet the definition of a non-practicing entity, but in substantial ways their practicing was "lapsed".

    This is also an endgame Intel might pursue in the face of an AMD collapse. Note the costs for the various lawsuits relative to what Intel makes in a quarter. Sometimes it is better to cut a check after the fact, although there is more money and patent trolling has become more of a blatant drag on companies than before.
     
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  9. ToTTenTranz

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    Can Intel meet the whole world's demand for x86 chips?
     
  10. BRiT

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    They're doing so for 80%, I'm sure they can manage the extra 20% without issue.
     
  11. 3dilettante

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    There have been indications that some product transitions were slowed due to inventory buildup, so at various times Intel quite likely wished the 20% remainder would have bought some of it.
     
  12. ToTTenTranz

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    Well I for one refuse to believe that manufacturing +20% of what seems to be 100 Million chips every quarter is something that would go without issue...
    Even less when only the 3 Hilsboro plants are capable of producing 14nm CPUs.
     
  13. Alexko

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    Are Intel's plants fully utilized?

    In any case, if AMD went tits up and Intel had to fill the world's entire demand, prices would go up and demand would go down, so Intel could handle it.
     
  14. ToTTenTranz

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    At least the 14nm ones had better be. Have you ever seen the numbers for building, maintaining or retro-fitting the plants that are capable of producing the latest nodes?
     
  15. AlexV

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    I don't believe that is the only possible outcome.
     
  16. Alexko

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    In the short term, I think it is. After a few months, at most a couple of years, Intel could add manufacturing capacity, raising supply enough to meet the level of demand before AMD's demise, and then prices might come back down if Intel deemed it appropriate.
     
  17. Grall

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    In the mid-ish 1990s, high-end CPUs (this being the Pentium 166-200 we're talking about), were just horrendously expensive, before the rise of AMD and the K6 line of CPUs. Ludicrously so. Like, xeon-level expensive. Low-end wasn't exactly cheap either, one might add, just not AS expensive...

    You just know that if Intel only could, they'd love to get back to that state of affairs, because that company - as advanced and skilled as their engineers are - is just that scummy and corrupt. Luckily for everyone else though, they simply can't, because the market just isn't there anymore. "Post-PC world" is just a silly marketing buzzword term used by Apple and delusional people, but an Intel running rampant with price hikes would actually make it happen, to a large extent.

    ARM devices would happily eat Intel's lunch if given the chance, and many people would let them. There's not that many everyday tasks that increasingly powerful tablets, or even phones, can't do anymore, and even some more advanced work is realistic to do on touchscreen devices given the right software and skill. Just look at what Apple showed today with splitscreen on the iPad for example.
     
  18. UniversalTruth

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    http://blogs.barrons.com/techtrader...ould-buy-them-for-x86-license-says-northland/

    Advanced Micro Rising: Xilinx, China Could Buy Them for x86 License, Says Northland

    Intel might go along with a purchase of AMD, thinks Richard:

    Would the x86 license survive an acquisition? While change in control would invalidate the existing cross license agreement with Intel, we think in most circumstances Intel would be very willing to renew the agreement as AMD owns several key patents used in modern x86 processors. In addition, we believe that Intel is interested in expanding the use of x86.

    Zen might make AMD a more solid number two behind Intel in servers, which would be “huge,” he thinks:

    We believe that AMD has a strong design team working on the new Zen process core due out next year. We believe that this will be a significant improvement over its current product offering, and may enable AMD to once again be a viable second source to INTC in the data center. We estimate that with roughly 10% market share or $1B in DC revenue gross margin in CY17 would increase to the high 30% range and earnings could reach roughly $0.50. This would be in line with AMD’s three to five year target model.
     
  19. Alexko

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    I think it's fairly clear that Zen will be a solid number two, the only question pertains to the precise acceptation of the phrase.
     
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  20. UniversalTruth

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    :D Ahaha. They mean that Zen will turn AMD into a more solid company. ;)
     
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