SiS patent wins, Hercules job losses, Intel 533 MHz license fun

And why does AMD supports Microsoft?

HWRoundup What's going on at Hercules, the Guillemot graphics card brand, in North America, HardOCP's Kyle Bennett asks? ... " and now we have gotten word that they are laying off employees. We asked a contact of ours what was going on up there and for an official reply and this was the answer we got from Kelly Ramsay, Director of Marketing for apparently all three divisions.

"Currently we are realigning our company to be better in touch with our customers and end users, and in that regard are making staffing changes accordingly. There are neither 'official' statements nor specific details available at this time. "


SiS has beaten off a patent infringement complaint filed by UMC, the Taiwanese foundry biz, with the US Trade Commission, Digitime reports. It's difficult to tell from the article but we infer that a separate law suit in the US is still working its way through the system.

Digitimes article

EBN's Jack Robertson takes a gander at AMD's anti-trust thrust against Intel. Difficult to square with the firm's support for Microsoft's "antitrust clean slate"? Not the way AMD sees it. What do you think of its argument?

EBN article

Intel will be pleased with yesterday's crits for its 2.53GHz P4, complete with the new 533MHz frontside bus. It goes like the clappers, according to all the reviews we've read, and - novelty of novelties - it's faster than the fastest AMD desktop chip, the Athlon Xp 2100+. But it's expensive - c. $700. And licensing deals for 533MHz chipsets won't come cheap, judging from the tenor of this article (

Intel's Newest Chipset Could Trigger Lawsuits

) by Extreme Tech's Mark Hachman.

We know that ATI has an Intel license to use 533MHz bus, because it told world+dog through a press release yesterday. But what about the rest of the chipset gang.
SiS has a license too - but it undercuts Intel by a long chalk on chipset prices, and it looks likes Intel is using the 533MHz bus as an excuse to hike royalty fees.

As Hachman points out, Nvidia doesn't have a license for P4 - putting its high-protein eggs into the AMD Athlon. And it's not bothered - at least in public - with rectifying this with the 533MHz bus. The argument between the two started over price, but it now appears to run deeper as the always interesting x-bitlabs notes in this article: Why Nvidia doesn't make Pentium 4 chipsets.

One day, Nvidia's decision to tough it out with Intel may come back to haunt it. Currently, it's riding high, but it's squabbling on two fronts with two very powerful potential enemies (it's at war with Microsoft over prices for chips used in the XBox).

Then there's VIA, and ALi. VIA doesn't like Intel's royalty fees either. It will reverse engineer a 533MHz product, but its continued legal dispute with Intel over P4 license rights continues to harm its market share. ALi doesn't have a licence either - according to Hachman, this company is "slowly drifting away from the chipset market". ®

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