back to article AMD cries foul over Intel's 'river of cash' flowing to Dell

It's document season in the ongoing anti-trust lawsuit between AMD and Intel. Last week, the companies fought over witness testimony and earlier this week a judge told Intel to fork over some documents related to interviews done as the company tried to deal with its deletion of e-mails possibly related to the case at hand. Now, …


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  1. Nick Woodson
    Paris Hilton

    What year is this?

    I thought that this battle...or one just like it...was fought about 10 years ago. The only difference that I can see is that the other one was a codebase issue... Anti-competitive behavior seems to be the rule rather than the exception in this industry.

  2. anarchic-teapot

    Hate that word "redact"

    It's just wimpspeak for "censored"

  3. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    One wonders

    What the feck the point of such heavily redacted statements IS.

    Shit, the cost of black ink alone must be killing the anal glands of whatever beast they use for ink...

  4. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    River of AMD chips?

    So, Intel offering marketing money is completely different to AMD offering a vendor a million free CPUs.....

  5. Laxman

    woeful chipmaker incapable of doing much right.

    Isn't that what AMD has become these days as well?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only winners wil be...

    ... the Lawyers.

    Intel can out-spend AMD on lawyers, appeals, more appeals and buying - sorry - influencing people in Government.

  7. Highlander

    This is strong stuff?

    AMD makes many allegations here, the majority of which would appear to be of a kind that are open and shut cases if you have the contracts. There doesn't seem to be a lot of suggestion that they have the contract, or at least no sign of them using the documents which I'm sure they got through discovery. It's inevitable for court documents to be full of word-play, but that doesn't mean you can't read between the lines. In fact you can, even more so because of the very verbosity of the documents presented.

    For example, the article quote AMD's documents;

    "The evidence also supports AMD's claim that Intel paid IBM to delay and then to refrain from branding or marketing its AMD blade server."

    Evidence supports. Supports, not shows. I'm surprised they didn't just use suggests. Shows would indicate that they have what they believe to be direct evidence. Support indicates to me that they have something that they think they can use to patch together circumstances to fit their allegation, in other words indirect evidence.

    I also find it entertaining how they quote Intel;'s CEO out of context trying to come over all humble, but deplore Intel's use of their own head man's comments in the same way. Then try to characterize Intel in a bad light because the took Henri out of context. Clearly they've never heard "Pot, Kettle, meet black."

    I almost laughed my butt off when they actually said in their document something that amounted to "Oh yes, we at AMD offer all sorts of discounts and incentives too, it's part of the normal business in this industry, but Intel did even more than we did, and that's unfair!" Sounds like a toys out of pram situation.

    What about the whole river of cash thing? Let's analyze for a moment. If Intel is offering such ridiculously good terms in return for exclusivity and offering incentives to the point where people can use the phrase 'river of cash'. Then how in the name of the wee man are they making such huge ass profits? They almost spend more on R&D than AMD has revenue, and yet they make a very healthy profit. Something doesn't add up there. If they're cutting their own throat in order to offer such incredible terms in exchange for exclusivity, then where are their profits coming from?

    One last amusing thing is this quote; "Yet, in the face of those facts Intel still attempts to characterize AMD as a bumbling competitor beset by lousy products, a poor reputation, bad planning, and terrible execution; in short, a company nobody would want to do business with,"

    You know, in the last three years AMD has been exactly that. Bumbling. They spent wildly on new fabs and then spend a pointlessly gargantuan price for ATI. Their new product lines are way behind schedule, their new manufacturing processes are late, they're nearly a generation of silicon behind Intel, and their own attempts at exclusivity with Dell fell flat when they couldn't make enough chips to satisfy their commitments with Dell *and* the retail channel, screwing the retail customer in the process. They do have a poor reputation in light of these things, and some may not want to do business with them. Ironic then that AMD would make such a statement when it's easier than shooting fish in a barrel to illustrate each element they complain about.

    AMD : Intel is bad, they offered discounts on their stuff, we can't compete.

    Judge : You offer discounts as well don't you?

    AMD : Yes your honor, but that is different. Their discounts are HUGE!

    Judge : Oh, so their discounts were bigger than your discounts?

    AMD : Yes your honor.

    Judge : So, you say they acted unfairly and bought the business.

    AMD : Yes you honor.

    Judge : Alright then, please show me where they sold their product at a loss in order to force you out of the deal.

    AMD : Uh...erm...well, they just sort of pressured IBM and Dell and others into doing what they want.

    Judge : Yes, but show me how their discounts were any different from your own, show me how it is that they bought the business.

    AMD : Well, you see, it's like this, here's a picture of their CEO apologizing for being bad. See, he's apologizing for it, they must have done something!

    Judge : I see from the filings that your own Henri Richards said some things....

    AMD : Ah, but you see those things are quoted entirely out of context, his remarks were just in the way of a good natured joke.

    Judge : I see. Show me again how you claim Intel bought the business, please.


    I know someone will come in and claim I'm an Intel shill, but I can honestly say I have an interest in neither company. I just don't see much validity in this kind of case unless there is crystal clear evidence of wrong doing, it's all a case of sour grapes and trying to compete through litigation.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Has anyone looked into this latest debacle with Windows SP3 fouling up AMD based systems only? If Intel is actually guilty of some of the offenses AMD is accusing it of, then a ruthless plan to cripple AMD based Windows systems could significantly damage AMD’s reputation.

  9. moronatwork

    re:strong stuff

    It's not the rivers of cash per se typically. Remember the Microsoft and IBM case during the monopoly trial? All the *OTHER* tier 1 companies were paying $9 per license of win95. IBM had the audacity to sell OS/2, and so, was punished by:

    1) not getting drivers/code early, unlike compaq/dell/hp

    2) $50/win95 license.

    Now, if IBM were to have knifed OS/2 in 1994, immediately, Microsoft will offer co-marketing and other inducements that would have ultimately dropped IBM's cost to $9.

    Now do you understand where the rivers of cash come from?

    It wouldn't have mattered if you can sell linux boxes for free, you _have_ to sell windows boxes. Just like most tier-1 PC makers _have_ to sell Intel boxes. Intel can make them pay retail, or give them 75% to 90% discounts. It doesn't matter how cheaply AMD sells their cpus, or even if they give it away free, the tier-1 PC makers still have to buy Intel cpus and sell those boxes.

  10. Herby

    Redacted vs. Censored

    Redacted is when YOU do it.

    Censored is when THEY do it.

    It is a big difference. Unfortunately both are bad for us because we aren't the YOU (Intel/AMD/the court), or THEY (some centralized government). We can only hope that they did it wrong (as others have done) so we can peek (fat chance!).

  11. Galadrion

    A Couple of Replies

    Highlander - AMD is actually closer to TWO generations behind Intel than nearly one. Other than that, you seem to have neatly captured the essence of the public arguments they're putting forward, though...

    Anonymous Coward - there's a major problem with your theory about a Windows SP3 attack aimed specifically at AMD systems: Windows and its service packs are not produced by Intel. They're produced by a strange little company based two states north of Intel's headquarters - you may have heard of them - a company by the name of Microsoft? And despite the wild theories put forth by conspiracy promulgators, there is no particular link between Microsoft and Intel. AMD enjoys just as much consideration from Microsoft - under threat of federal interference, by way of anti-trust actions if there's even as much as a credible HINT of possible collusion.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Got to Make Money

    This is a great money spinner for liars - opps lawyers.

    Actually I have two computers both Packard Bell both running XP. Both P4 one at 1.8mhz AMD and one at 2.3mhz Intel - Both have 2GB RAM.

    You can guess which is the faster by a long long way - yep the AMD one

    In my opinion based on this experience I will go out of my way to get AMD rather than Intel when updating my machine - whatever the manafacture of the machine is. I also have friends with computers that have noticed a significant difference of higher speed with AMD over Intel.

    Hearts because I love the speed of my AMD computer.

  13. Mark


    I'm afraid Highlander doesn't believe Intel has done anything wrong, so your comment has no meaning for him.

    Strange that he's accused another poster of being paid by AMD. Sounds like he is. He put an awful lot of effort into saying "AMD have nothing" when NONE of us know what AMD have (except a big bill for black ink).

  14. Nexox Enigma


    Yes, AMD is behind Intel, who is still selling chips based on that Pentium Pro they came up with in the mid 90s, while AMD have more or less completely designed a couple new cores since then. Remember the last core Intel designed from the ground up? Netburst it was called, and my, did it blow.

    Also I believe you miss the point of what that AC was saying about SP3. Microsoft doesn't need to have done anything at all, since the common story is that OEMs are to blame, since they use the same image for Intel and AMD machines, thanks to a cpu-ralated driver. Now Intel could very well done nearly anything to their driver to make AMD chips malfunction. SP3 could have accidentally made things worse, or Intel could have gotten some pre-releases of SP3 and designed the flaw intentionally. Not that I really think any of that happened, but thats what the AC was trying to point out.

    And to everyone complaining that this is just a lawsuit about bigger discounts - it is blatantly anti-competitive to offer discounts for exclusivity. What AMD has mostly said on that topic is that Intel offered chip volume discounts based on number of units shipped, and the numbers were tailored such that it was impossible for Tier 1s to sell many / any AMD chips. If AMD managed to find evidence to show that did happen, then it's the same as offering exclusivity agreements.

    Also AMD claims that Intel did all sorts of other things, like having AMD signs removed at conventions and things. Hard to say that you'd remove a competitor's marketing in order to maintain a competitive market,. eh?

  15. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Don't knock AMD

    AMD's chips ran better than Intels for years. Intel had the P3 which sucked badly and then the P4 which initially was even slower than the P4 until they clocked it high.

    P4 was destined to clock high and end up sucking hundreds of watts of power at it hit the intended max of 10GHz.

    Thankfully AMD competed with Intel and Intel finally designed some good CPUs in the Core2 Duo range.

  16. Mark


    How do you get that, G? Two revs behind?

    The P3/Athlon were the same revision core.

    P4 Stuffed up big time. Athlon XP.

    P4-D is back to the P3 arch. Athlon on Skt939 (AMD 1 ahead)

    Core Duo/Athlon on the AM socket (AMD remains 1 ahead)

    Core2/Athlon on the AM2 socket (AMD remains 1 ahead)

    If you want to go just by the names, then Intel only have the P3 and failed P4 and AMD have the Athlon. Intel one ahead. The core is really the result of the Intel engineers in Israel being left along by the marketing doofuses and were finally able to find out how to increase clock rate on the P3 arch while the marketing doofus was trying to win the gigahertz war by pushing the unready P4 tech. The core systems were when the marketing idiots finally realised that they couldn't get the P4 or itanium to fly and let the rest of intel progress the P3 arch.

    NOTE: When it comes to power consumption, Intel use maximum realisable power. I.e. when you're maxing your CPU under system loads, what power is needed. AMD go on maximum theoretical power. I.e. if everything is being clocked at 100% (which isn't possible) how much power will it use.

    That makes most of the difference between TDP rates of the CPUs disappear. Add in that the AMD chips don't have the memory controller (which can add 10W all on its lonesome), the difference between the two chips is down in the "well, it depends on how you use it" range.

  17. Highlander


    Don't assume you know what I'm saying when you so obviously don't. Don't put words in my mouth either. I said nothing about any other poster having an interest in anyone at all. Some posters have previously accused me of having an interest in Intel, I don't, not one share or financial connection at all. Previously I've been told I'm a paid shill for Sony, except I don't and never have worked for Sony or any organization connected with Sony, nor do I have any financial interest in them.

    People assume that if you don't follow their narrow point of view you must have some kind of interest in the one side or the other. The trouble is it's possible to have an opinion based on knowledge and experience without having any financial or other interest at all. It's just that most people, including you, don't get that. If AMD have something, then why in hell is it taking them so fraking long to get on with it and present it? SCO had nothing and wasted years of court time pretending they had loads while desperately searching documents and other discovery to find something. If AMD have something, then they should get on with it. I note that you made no effort to refute the points I made, is that a tacit indication that you have nothing to counter with?

    If you want to know what's wrong with AMD look at their purchase of ATI for $5.something Billion, and their multi-billion investment in a fab. The fab made some sense, the purchase of ATI didn't. Especially as ATI is currently shedding talent faster than a sinking ship loses rats. You might also look at their woefully late materials processing. You could look at their difficulty in delivering Barcelona and other new products at a time when Intel is delivering new micro architecture, new materials process, 45nm and shrinking, and switching up Buss technology. AMD has no one bet themselves to blame. They've attempted to strike exclusive deals also, as I mentioned the Dell deal was a total screw up from start to finish. First of all they didn't have the capacity to supply Dell and the rest of their market, so attempting to get into bed with Dell screwed everyone else. Then we could also look at the fact that they had difficulty delivering chips, high performance chips, to IBM. IBM isn't in the business of waiting for AMD, they're in the business of making computers and selling them. If AMD can't deliver, what do you supposed IBM would do? Oh, but let's not let facts obscure the point of view that Intel did something unfair by doing exactly the same things that AMD did.

    Once again, Pot, Kettle, meet Black.

  18. Highlander


    You don't appear to give Intel much credit for the redesign work done on the Core2. Core 2 is not the P3 core, it's a complete redesign. It resembles the P3 in that it has a shorter pipe than the NetBust chips, but it is not a P3 with a make over. The Nehalem chips coming will be a further evolution/revolution of the Intel X86 architecture.

    You seem to be making the mistake of thinking that the Penitum M was nothing more than a P3, and that the new Core and Core2 chips are Pentium with go faster stripes. In case you were asleep over the last two/three years, the thing that woke the sleeping giant was AMD making inroads into the server space and the continued demonstration that NetBust was a bust technologically speaking. It wasn't a failure by the marketing team that prompted Intel to adopt the Tick/Tock strategy. Like many AMD fanboys (which is how you are coming across) you are downplaying the Core 2 architecture and ignoring the speedy move from 90 to 65 and then 45nm and now the Nehalem generation. All of which has put Intel significantly ahead in terms of technology and performance.

    In the same time period AMD has had what exactly? K8 and iterative improvements of K8.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Highlander

    What AMD object to is Intel offering exclusivity discounts.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Intel is only significantly ahead in the home user space, if you move to the server space, which is what AMD have concentrated on, then you'll find they are pretty much even, with Intel coming out ahead on some workloads (where the dataset fits in cache) and AMD on others (where the dataset isn't in cache, so the integrated memory controller plays its ace card). Don't believe all the media hype about Intel crushing AMD - sure if you want your games a few FPS faster then Intel is the way to go, but when it comes to servers they are evens right now over a broad spectrum of workloads.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Here's my opinion

    I really think that __________ with ___________ and ____________ is __________ when they __________, because Intel __________.

    AMD, on the other hand is being _________________________________________________________ due to the __________ and __________, as well as the __________ for several _________ at ______________.

    HP and IBM ______________ with Sun in 2005 ______________ and _________ with Dell.

    I think I've made my position clear.

    Mine's the black cape next to the powdered wig.

  22. Chulang

    AMD IS a better design 8080 cpu


    AMD CPUs were 64 bit when they (intel)brought out the PII . Now a 64 bit CPU can operate as a 32 bit cpu as well as a 32 bit CPU. Intel cpu's use two registers to do 64 bit stuff. AMD Core was 64 bit, Alpha cores were always 64 bit. I still trying top figure out is Intel CPUS are 'real 64 bit' . I am at a computer that is dual core Intel. I have a 64 bit sigle core AMD Sempron computer at home. There is no difference in performance in the system. Tell me how can Dell sell a system with Intel CPU the same price as a system with AMD CPU when the Intel CPU cost $60US more than the AMD? There was signs of unfair pratices and in the US anti trust suits deal with that.

    Let look at it this way, the reason we have so many Microsoft base systems out there becasue an Anti trust suit made IBM open up the architecture. The technology is made by any company that can do it: the technology became cheep. Yet computers such as COmmadore Amiga , which did the Terminator movies on 16MB Ram and lest than 500MB hard disk drive space (Video was not even 5MB and the quality was first class).......... a close architecture, no cheep reproduction of that product; the company fold up because it cannot complete with the cheep IBM architecture. Apple went to Intel to bring down price, Power technology is way advance than an 8080 sup-up-;Pentium set of cpu ( an 8086 is an 8080 rewired with bigger internal register , a pentium is a 8086 with even bigger registers). So the AMD CPU is a better develop 8086 than Intel.

  23. Gordon Crawford

    remember when

    remember when Intel needed AMD to be a second source for military bids ,

    remember when k2 came out and Intel sue,d over copy right and length of second source contract ?

    remember how many sockets Intel had , and AMD had Athalon

    ahhh remember dos ? And a little bit before[apple]

    lawyers and lawsuit's I am use to and seen.

    But The Big Question

    where was opteronX2 or core 2 when I was young?

    Amiga with a quad !!! would have been nice.. sighh

  24. slugmeister

    AMD dropped the ball, now cry foul

    Intel got complacent years ago. I remember we were running proliant quad xeons and then we bought a couple of proliant dl580 and the performance sucked. Thex eon in that was way MHz faster but depending on which way the wind was blowing, was marginally faster. Opteron came along and we jumped on board for some great performance and, briefly, cpu swap outs for the next model. Ready to upgrade to barcelona and...nothing. barcelona was stuffed and late, and totally screwed my purchase plans last year and resulted in plenty of managerial boot up my arse. So my biggest purchase for years and we are back to Intel this time around. My several year opteron love affair will be switched off by year end. Its a shame cos opteron turned intel around. If amd shit themselves we will be back to Intel uber alles. For someone like IBM sticking to one CPU brand with reliable supply makes business cant sell non existent or broken chips. Hp have been selling both for years, probably to their pricing detriment, but I hadnt bought an Intel based proliant for years until recently. At least I can chop and change within the one blade enclosure.

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