AMD and Intel are locked in battle over Intel's claim that AMD is in breach of a cross licensing agreement over x86 processor technology.
Earlier this month, AMD and its partner Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC, not to be confused with AMD's graphics subsidiary ATI) established GlobalFoundries, a joint venture for the physical manufacturing of AMD CPUs. GlobalFoundries is intended to also be responsible for producing other chips with AMD technologies inside.
According to Intel, GlobalFoundries’ use of the equipment for the production of x86 chips breaches an agreement between AMD and Intel over x86 technology sharing.
Put simply: Intel doesn't want AMD do have a chip fabrication facility that can make x86 processors alongside chips for other people, because that makes running the fab a much more affordable proposition for AMD.
The most recent argument between the two corporations stems from an AMD claim that Intel would love to see their business fail. “I think they would absolutely like us dead. […] In their perfect world, we wouldn’t exist. If they had to deal with the government every now and then, that’s fine, and they’re still extracting monopoly profits from the industry,” said AMD general counsel Harry Wolin in an interview with Cnet.
Intel, as any mega-corporation with a well resourced PR team would, has denied all accusations that it wants to see AMD fail, claiming it simply wants to protect its intellectual property from third parties.
“It’s nice of them to try to speak for us. AMD has been a competitor for almost 40 years in one form or another. This is not about AMD going away. This is about our rights and AMD's rights under the patent cross-license agreement,” said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesperson for Intel.
There is a logical counter-argument to AMD's argument that Intel wants it dead: that Intel actually needs AMD to be around to avoid government scrutiny over having a monopoly on x86 CPU manufacturing. Currently only three companies share the market for x86 microprocessors, AMD, Intel and small-time competitor Via Technologies. Intel needs the competition of AMD, as Via Technologies has such a minor share of the market that it's of no threat to Inetl. Without AMD in operation, Intel faces the possibility of antitrust accusations.