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AMD executive engages Apple in attack on Intel

When interviewed by phone, Tom McCoy, senior vice president of legal cases at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), quoted Apple as he spoke about the billion-dollar fine imposed by the European Union recently. According to him, the agreement signed between the two companies four years ago gives Intel exclusive rights in the production of chips for Ma desktops, notebooks and servers, which in practical terms would also be considered an illegal practice.

AMD and Intel

He believes that this arrangement arrested Apple Intel in exchange for technical help to port Mac OS X and all the technologies that were behind the Macs of the time, making it impossible to seek out other processor manufacturers within the x86 architecture for sales contracts. of chips to be used on your computers. "This deal will not last forever, and when it ends, we will have a chance to compete for Apple's business when it is ready," he said. Intel denied the executive's words.

This is not the first time (PDF, 161KB) that AMD has attempted to attack Intel over small illegal practices of market monopolization. In 2005, a month after Appleda's transition to Intel processors, she made an attack involving Dell, which at that time only produced computers under an exclusive agreement with Intel's gang. Conveniently or not, the first Dell PCs with AMD chips appeared shortly after.

Taking into account Apple's version of the PPC / Intel transition, these McCoy words make no sense. In Jobs' June 2005 announcement, it was made clear to developers at that year's Worldwide Developers Conference that the decision to move to Intel was made based on technical aspects and comparisons of the roadmap with IBM. Jobs' words – which you can listen to in this video, if you like – were as follows:

We have great PowerPC Macs today and we have many more ready to launch on the market. But as we look forward, we imagine wonderful products for our customers. And we will not be able to produce them using the roadmap future of PowerPC.

Perhaps McCoy is right when he says that the deal made between Apple and Intel was made after long planning, but he does not characterize any illegal or pressure initiative against Steve Jobs' gang. Instead, it was taken with the consent of the two companies, according to which Intel won the chance to produce chips for Macs because, in Apple's view, it would be the choice for the future.

Another controversial point in McCoy's words when he says that Intel's exclusivity was due to the help it offered in the transition process. It was necessary, in fact, but according to the story told by Jobs in 2005, it was not indispensable. Research teams were already reproducing a development scenario on machines with Intel chips five years earlier, within Apple, even before any Intel opinion was considered – which happened in early 2005. According to Jobs, all versions of the Mac OS X were compiled on PowerPC and Intel within Apple, but an Intel system came to market only in the second phase of the transition, which started in 2006 with the launch of the new iMac and MacBook Pro. In addition, there were other good moments of partnership between two companies, as in the production of the MacBook Air and the Mac Pro 2009, which was the first commercial machine in the world to run a Xeon Nehalem.

There is no doubt that the transition to Intel processors was positive for Apple. Several respected consultancy analysts, such as IDC, Gartner and Reuters, admit that leaving IBM was a formidable undertaking for Ma. However, AMD's words also served to bring out the negative facts of the transition. Today, Macs are not so different in performance compared to many PCs. At a time when a G4 was faster than Pentiums and Itaniums in life, buying a Mac was an easier choice, in my view. Today, the choice between a Mac and a PC is tougher, because the two share the same architecture. This is what motivates our beloved Apple and Microsoft to invest in advertising. The one that is most convincing for the least educated wins (as well as the politicians of our country).

In my opinion, McCoy agreed to this discussion because he sees AMD as the company capable of trimming the bumps of the transition that Apple went through four years ago. In other words, maybe AMD has a letter up its sleeve that wants to show Apple first, so it raised questions about its deal with Intel, since its reputation has been badly shaken in Europe. But that would be too much to say without foundation.