Digital and Cyrix took on Intel last week in a legal battle that some analysts are comparing to David and Goliath.
Both companies filed suits against the chip giant in a period of less than 24 hours.
Digital claims that Intel stole some of its designs to build the Pentium microprocessor line. In a separate case, Cyrix claims that Intel infringed upon "one or both of the patents" issued to it by the US patent office.
One of the patents in the Cyrix dispute is for a microprocessor with externally controllable power management. The other is for a pipelined processor with register renaming hardware that accommodates multiple size registers.
Cyrix's suit seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief along with unspecified damages and fees.
Digital's suit also calls for damages and demands that Intel stop using what it claims are 10 of its patented technologies in the Pentium line.
Analysts have questioned Digital's motives, speculating that it might have less to do with patent infringement and more to do with its desire to expand the market for its RISC-based line of Alpha processors. Intel's chips have begun making broad inroads into the workstation market, an area dominated by RISC processors.
In a statement Intel said it intends to defend itself vigorously against the suit.
- See leader, page 26.
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