AMD agrees to cough up $35-a-chip payout over eight-core Bulldozer advertising fiasco | 8/27/2019 | Staff
abbycraig (Posted by) Level 3
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AMD has agreed to pay purchasers of its FX Bulldozer processors a total of $12.1m to settle a four-year false advertising lawsuit.

Considering the number of processors sold and assuming a 20 per cent take-up by eligible purchasers, that works out to $35 a chip, the preliminary agreement argues: a figure that is “significantly more than 50 per cent of the value of their certified claims had they prevailed at trial.”

Deal - Agreement - PDF - Risks - Expenses

It’s a good deal, the agreement [PDF] explains, because of the “risks and expenses that further litigation would pose in this case.”

The chip giant advertised its processors as being the "first native 8-core desktop processor" and charged a premium for it. But a significant number of those purchasers were then surprised to find that the chip did not contain eight fully independent, fully featured processing units but rather four Bulldozer modules that each contain a pair of instruction-executing CPU cores.

AMD - Mind - Modules - CPU - Cores

In AMD’s mind, four modules times two CPU cores equals eight CPU cores. But to the angry consumers, who launched a class action lawsuit back in 2015, they are not real “cores” because they share resources, including caches, frontend circuitry, and a single floating point unit (FPU).

Fast forward through years of legal back-and-forth and in January this year a California judge rejected AMD’s claim that "a significant majority" of people understood the term "core" the same way it did. What people buying chips imagine a core to be would be a significant part of such a lawsuit, the judge noted, and instructed that the case to move forward.

Results - Poll - Reg - Readers - Cores

Based on the results of our own poll of Reg readers, it appears most see cores in the same way as the litigants: 47 per cent said a core should be fully independent; whereas 28 per cent agreed with AMD and said it can share...
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