Lawsuit alleges AMD misled buyers on Bulldozer core count

8 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AMD Gives Tough Competition to Intel, Once Again! Zen Processor Meets Internal Expectations!.

AMD brought the “Clustered Integer Core” micro-architecture to Bulldozer CPU that works as a dual-core CPU, despite having a single-core structure.While it’s common for chipmakers to overstate how fast their processors can go, much like automakers often advertised inflated performance and mileage figures, this is quite an unusual – and hairy – situation for one of the leaders in the chip space.Chip-maker AMD has been struck by a class action lawsuit, after it was revealed that they falsely advertised the number of cores in their Bulldozer processor range.

AMD is all set to release yet another major CPU architecture which is sure to provide a blow to intel’s high performing processors which are currently enjoying an elite position in the market. The class-action lawsuit, filed on 26 October in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, claims that the Bulldozer CPU does not have eight cores as advertised, and uses four cores for processing on a system. Further, it alleges that the CPU model is suffering from “material performance degradation” and cannot simultaneously use eight cores at the same time. It would advertise that a given processor had eight cores, for example, when it effectively had four – each core in AMD-speak was really half of a module, and couldn’t operate independently.

In simpler terms, that means AMD’s Bulldozer-based chips cannot handle as many concurrent instructions as what would be expected from your typical eight-core chipset. This revelation is surely set to give sleepless nights to Intel as the new AMD Zen CPU is expected to give tough competition to the best performing CPUs from their stable. And that also means disappointment following the excitement some gamers may have felt, thinking that the AMD chips in their rigs would result in out-of-this-world PC gaming performance. Unlike hyper-threading technology on Intel CPUs, AMD’s Bulldozer has “module” design that makes multiple cores to share a single floating point unit for processing various tasks. AMD has yet to provide official comment on the class action suit, but what’s interesting is how the company seems to be veering away from modular chip architecture like what consumers get from the Bulldozer processors.

The chipmaker’s upcoming Zen architecture is more typical in nature, and it centers on simultaneous core threads per core, similar to rival Intel’s Hyperthreading technology. The group seeks damages from AMD that include statutory and punitive damages, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgement interest, as well as other injunctive in addition to declaratory relief as is deemed reasonable. Dickey points out that the average PC buyer do not have the necessary technical expertise to understand AMD’s design of processors because they trust the tech firm to provide accurate specifications on its CPUs. The lawsuit goes against this, stating that the decrease in performance is deceiving less technically-knowledgeable consumers: In fact, the Bulldozer chips functionally have only four cores — not eight, as advertised. The nature of the case means that AMD could be charged for false advertising, breach of express warrant, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

Still, this could mean big trouble for AMD, as it could be chased for a large amount of money if the plaintiffs emerge victorious and the company is found guilty of willfully deceiving consumers. As a result, AMD’s Bulldozers suffer from material performance degradation and cannot perform eight instructions simultaneously and independently as claimed. Other speculations are already ripe over the internet regarding compatibility with different hardware and we shall get into more details about all that when things are officially confirmed by the company.

The report of the lawsuit will surely leave insiders reeling, considering the company has just made ground in its face-off with Nvidia and is close to building its first chip made from Samsung’s 14 nm FInFet LLP process. Processor makers regularly exaggerate the performance of their chips (remember Intel’s obsession with clock speed?), but AMD is learning that there are limits around what you can claim.

Its next architecture, Zen, represents a more conventional approach that focuses on simultaneous code threads within each core, like Intel’s Hyperthreading. Just when you thought things were looking good for AMD with them gaining a lead over Nvidia in recent benchmarks and the imminent arrival of Zen architecture, another obstacle appears in the way of the computer chip manufacturer. The lawsuit is against their new Bulldozer CPU which the company advertised as having 8-cores, capable of performing eight calculations simultaneously.

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