AMD unfazed by Intel cross-licensing threat

Intel has yet to act on its threat to pull out of cross-licensing agreement involving an AMD joint venture, which AMD's Asia-Pacific head insists poses no issue
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

AMD is "not concerned" over rival Intel's threat to pull out of a cross-licensing agreement between the two chipmakers, says an AMD Asia-Pacific executive, even as the Intel-issued deadline for supposed action looms.

According to Intel, GlobalFoundaries, AMD's manufacturing spinoff and a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi government, is not a subsidiary of AMD and cannot be accorded the same rights under the cross-licensing pact. Intel said it would terminate all rights and licences under the agreement if AMD does not correct the "alleged breach" by the given deadline, which was due to expire on 16 May.

In an interview on Friday with ZDNet Asia, Benjamin Williams, AMD's corporate vice president and Asia-Pacific general manager dismissed Intel's actions as a media blitz and said the issue has since "died down".

"It's one of those areas that we weren't concerned with, [and] we obviously would not have done and structured the deal the way we had, thinking there was some challenge with the licensing and structure," he noted. "You're not hearing anything about [the issue] now; we're not concerned with it."

Adding that "the licence goes both ways", Williams said the agreement also affects, among others, Intel's Nehalem architecture and integrated memory controller. "What [Intel] neglected to [say] is that it's a cross-licence agreement, not a one-way agreement."

AMD previously said Intel's claims were an attempt to distract the public from its antitrust battle with the European Commission. The Commission ruled on Thursday that Intel engaged in anticompetitive practices and fined the chipmaker €1.06bn (£951m). Market observers, however, said the antitrust ruling is unlikely to dramatically alter the balance between the two companies.

Intel was unable to respond at press time.

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