Weekend tech reading: AMD sued over Bulldozer core count, Comcast caps not …

8 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AMD faces Class Action Lawsuit over Bulldozer Based CPU Core Count Claims.

It is nothing new that processor manufacturers regularly exaggerates the performance of their chips, (recall Intel’s obsession with clock speed?) well AMD is finding out the hard way that there hard and fast upper limits to what you can claim and get away with.

The legal action has been started by Tony Dickey at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division; the allegation is that the Bulldozer CPU is advertised as having 8 cores, but it effectively has just 4. The architecture of the chip is such that each of the cores is unable to operate independently meaning that it functions in the same way as a 4-core processor. AMD faces allegations under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, as well as false advertising, fraud, breach of express warrant, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. AMD is currently being sued for damages, including statutory and punitive damages, pre and post judgment interest and litigation expenses along with other injunctive and declaratory relief as is deemed reasonable. The average computer buyer might not have any idea what the difference is between cores that share a floating point unit and cores that don’t, and this may lead them to believe they’re buying a true, eight-core CPU when they aren’t.

And that also means disappointment following the excitement a few gamers may have felt, thinking that the AMD chips in their rigs would result in out-of-this-world PC gaming performance. Since AMD failed to disclose the accurate specifications for Bulldozer, the lawsuit claimed that thousands of buyers were deceived into procuring a product that was unable to perform the way it was promised. While AMD has yet to comment on the lawsuit, Engadget notes that Zen, its next architecture, offers a more conventional approach by focusing on simultaneous code threads within each core, similar to Intel’s Hyperthreading. A scorned buyer, Tony Dickey, who has brought the class action lawsuit against AMD, believes that the corporation did this intentionally to boost profits in the short term and the company was actually heedless about their long term prospects. Notably, AMD built the Bulldozer processors by stripping away components from two cores and combining what was left to make a single ‘module.’ But by removing certain components of two cores to make one module, they no longer work independently.

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