Come economic slowdown and corporates look to cash upon their patents and licenses. This is what Intel did. They allegedly found AMD violating x86 license agrement. Historically speaking, the desktop computer era started with Wintel platform, with architecture and instruction set for these microprocessor as x86. Now if someone keen to build microprocessor (Like AMD) they need to use the widely used instruction set to make an economic sense.
Intel was kind enough to sign x86 license with AMD. However lately Intel might be bit intimidated, by the bull run of AMD’s success. Resulting to insecurity in Intel camp. Forcing Intel lawyers to find for a possible x86 license breach. Which can be labeled as violation. And Wallah !!!! they allegedly found one.
Does this story sound familiar ? Hope SCO and Linux legal disputes rings some bells.
Out of the topic: This reminds me of Transmeta’s Crusoe processor that followed a different path. Crusoe runs a CMS (Code Morphing Software) software to translate x86 instruction set to native VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) of Crusoe. Probably Transmeta could get off with the required license cause their processor does not require native x86 instruction set.