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AMD faces class action lawsuit over Bulldozer core counts

by Mark Tyson on 9 November 2015, 13:01

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacv3q

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AMD is facing a class action lawsuit in the US District Court in San Jose, California, reports Legal Newsline. The chipmaker is facing allegations that it engaged in deceptive marketing in promoting its multi-core Bulldozer CPU designs. AMD is accused of false advertising, fraud, breach of express warrant, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment due to the core counts advertised in this range of CPUs.

Bulldozer combines two integer cores in a module, with a shared floating-point unit and a shared L2 cache. Multiple modules are combined to create CPUs. The class action suit complains that a Bulldozer CPU which claims to offer 8-cores cannot necessarily perform eight calculations simultaneously. Such a processor should be described and advertised as a 4-core chip claims Tony Dickey, on behalf of himself and others in the class action suit.

The average consumer doesn't have the technical background necessary to understand the Bulldozer CPU architecture, alleges Dickey. Thus he feels that there are probably tens of thousands of other consumers whose trust in AMD was misplaced.

Dickey says that because the AMD processors he and others bought couldn't perform eight instructions simultaneously and independently they suffered from "material performance degradation". He is asking for damages to cover this misrepresentation. Due to AMD's inaccurate "overstating of the number of cores contained in the chips," the suit calls for statutory and punitive damages, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest plus other injunctive and declaratory relief.

You can read more about the technical specifications, architectural implications and performance of the Bulldozer CPU in the HEXUS review of the AMD FX-8150 chip, from October 2011. It wasn't as impressive as we'd hoped for, and we warned readers of becoming early adopters at early adopter prices.

AMD has yet to issue any comment on the lawsuit.



HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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Dickey says that because the AMD processors he and others bought couldn't perform eight instructions simultaneously and independently they suffered from “material performance degradation”.

Hmm, each module can issue 4 instructions which is two per core, so his 8 core cpu can issue 16 instructions per clock. “Perform” is more tricky, with a long 20 odd stage pipeline it will actually be working on hundreds of instructions per clock.

The average Tony Dickey doesn't have the technical background necessary to understand the Bulldozer CPU architecture

There, fixed that for him ;)
As much as I think this is cobblers, it's really not what AMD need right now - the tech market isn't like showbiz :S
Kick them whilst they're down…
It's total cobblers, I read an article elsewhere that looked at the claims and basically said that the guy doesn't understand CPU design.

A Bulldozer can execute 8 threads simultaneously (and execute multiple instructions from each thread at the same time as well). The FP capability is shared, but FP isn't usually a factor when talking about CPU cores, which have always talked about integer first. http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/217672-analysis-amd-lawsuit-over-false-bulldozer-chip-marketing-is-without-merit

Hopefully AMD's lawyers will get this thrown out at the first stage.
shaithis
As much as I think this is cobblers, it's really not what AMD need right now - the tech market isn't like showbiz :S

True. I think though they have a far weaker case than the Pentium 4 class action (which I also thought was ridiculous, the benchmarks were there for everyone to see so if you bought a P4 you should have known what you were getting) so from the bit of the article that says:

Thus he feels that there are probably tens of thousands of other consumers whose trust in AMD was misplaced.

Well, the P4 payout was $15 per customer, so by his logic AMD could be down a few hundreds of thousands of dollars here. Hmm, that doesn't seem right ;)