..Computer industry tussles: INTEL Vs AMD..

Computer chip maker Intel is to pay
rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) $
1.25bn (£755m) to put a stop to a
number of long-running legal
disputes on competition and patent
issues around the world.
The pair, which have been at
loggerheads for years, will instead
now attempt to work together
through a new five-year licence
agreement.
The settlement however will not bring
to an end a number of high-profile,
government-led investigations into
Intel’s alleged abuse of its dominant
position in the computer chip
marketplace.
The surprise entente cordiale however
will stop the two bickering in public,
with AMD agreeing to withdraw
pending lawsuits in the US and in
Japan, as well as a number of
complaints lodged with competition
regulators worldwide.
In a joint statement, the two
companies said that the accord is “a
comprehensive agreement to end all
outstanding legal disputes between
the companies, including antitrust
litigation and patent cross license
disputes.”
Admitting the relationship between
the pair has “been difficult in the
past,” the statement went on to say
that it would allow both companies to
now focus their efforts on product
innovation and development.
AMD said it is now working on a “level
playing field” but that it will seek
“continued vigilance’ from
competition regulators.
Intel has also agreed to sign up to a
series of new business practices, while
AMD will give up any claims to breach
of contract.
Intel’s microchips power more than
80pc of the world’s computers, a
position that has led AMD to complain
about its market position and the way
it works with customers.
AMD first filed a lawsuit in 2005 in
Delaware, accusing Intel of
threatening companies that chose not
to buy from its product range.
But Intel has also been subjected to a
series of regulatory investigations. In
May of this year, Intel was fined $
1.45bn by the European Union for
paying manufacturers to use Intel
chips rather than those of AMD, a
ruling Intel is appealing. It is appealing
a similar, albeit smaller, ruling in
South Korea.
It also remains the subject of a
Federal Trade Commission probe in
the US, and one launched just a week
ago by New York Attorney General
Andrew Cuomo.
Mr Cuomo’s office, when filing the
complaint, said that the scheme to
allegedly abuse its position was
“orchestrated by the very top” of the
company and was not the “story of a
few rogue employees going too far.”
The Cuomo filing catalogued what it
alleged to be bribery and coercion to
customers including Dell and IBM
dating back several years, including
kickbacks and threats of retaliation for
using rival’s chips. Intel has denied
the allegations.

..the scuffle continues..

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AMD launches Trinity chipset to tackle Intel…

AMD, the processor manufacturer,
has announced the new chipset that it
hopes will rival Intel’s Ivy Bridge
processors.
The new A-series chipsets,
codenamed Trinity, will be used in
thin and light laptops that will
compete with Intel-backed ultrabooks,
AMD says.
The company says Trinity-powered
ultrathin laptops will be significantly
cheaper than ultrabooks. The first to
go on sale, in June, will be a
‘Sleekbook’ from Hewlett Packard.
Trinity will allow improved battery life
for laptops because it can be set to
draw around half the minimum
power requirement of AMD’s previous
chipset, Llano.
Chris Cloran, corporate vice president
of AMD, said: “Our 2nd-Generation
AMD A-Series APU is a major step
forward in every performance and
power dimension, allowing users to
enjoy a stunning experience without
having to give up the things that
matter to them most.”
Intel will release its new Ivy Bridge
chipset for ultrabooks next month.
The current generation of ultrabooks,
which began to go on sale at the end
of last year, run on Sandy Bridge
processors.
AMD’s Trinity chipset will also be
available for standard laptops and
desktops. AMD claims that Trinity
desktops have a 20-50 per cent better
graphics performance for gamers
than Intel’s comparable Ivy Bridge
processor.
Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors measure
just 22 nanometres across, which
gives the potential for faster
operations using less power. AMD’s
Trinity chipset, however, is still
manufactured using the 32
nanometre process.
AMD says consumers care about
performance and the overall
experience, rather than the
nanometre size of the processor.
Both Intel and AMD face growing
competition from Arm, the
Cambridge-based company that has
so far dominated the mobile
processor market.