AMD sued over Bulldozer core shortage

KT1136WM_CatBulldozer_LS2__99528.1420733846.1280.1280Troubled chipmaker AMD has been sued over the number of cores in its Bulldozer chip.

A class action lawsuit, led by a bloke called Tony Dickey, claims AMD tricked punters into buying its Bulldozer processors by overstating the number of cores contained. Bulldozer was advertised as having eight cores when functionally it actually only had four.

Part of the problem is that AMD’s multi-core Bulldozer chips combine the functions of what would normally be two discrete cores into a single package, which the company calls a module. Each module is identified as two separate cores in Windows, but the cores share a single floating point unit and instruction and execution resources. This is different from Intel’s cores, which feature independent FPUs.

But the suit said that Bulldozer cores cannot work independently, and as a result, cannot perform eight instructions simultaneously and independently. The plaintiffs claim that this results in performance degradation, and average consumers in the market for a CPU lack the technical expertise to understand the design of AMD’s processors and trust the company to give accurate specifications regarding its CPUs.

The suit argues that tens of thousands of consumers were misled into buying a Bulldozer CPU that cannot perform in the same way as a true 8-core CPU. If this is true AMD violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and was guilty of false advertising, fraud, breach of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

AMD is being sued for damages, including statutory and punitive damages, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, as well as other injunctive and declaratory relief as is deemed reasonable.