An attempt by Intel to prevent major competitor AMD from introducing its MMX chip tomorrow by injunction has failed in the USA. But Cyrix has capitulated to Intel?s legal demands and said the three letters of the alphabet belong to the chip giant. Intel responded by claiming it hadn?t wanted to take the legal action in the first place.
But the Cyrix decision throws doubt on whether IBM Microelectronics, which will also release the Cyrix M2 processor under its own name,.will follow its partners lead and capitulate to Intel.
A representative at IBM Microelectronics said: ?We?re reviewing the situation. When Cyrix releases the M2, IBM will announce the name and the numbering and name will be the same to avoid confusion.? He said that although IBM had the funds to fight Intel. it had not yet made any decision on whether or not to do so.
A court in Delaware threw out Intel?s application for an injunction and that leaves the way open for AMD to introduce the K6 in three flavours in California later today. It will introduce a 233MHz x.86 compatible chip using conventional socket technology in the US today and in Europe tomorrow.
The ruckus started when AMD took a stand at the Cebit trade fair in Hanover opposite Intel?s stand and were forced by the injunction to take down a big sign with the letters MMX on it and post warnings to visitors not to access AMD?s home page.
Last week, AMD Europe said that a judge had overthrown a similar injunction placed by Intel to stop them here. At that time Intel insisted that the restraining order was in place all across Europe but that was denied by Richard Baker, European marketing manager at AMD.
He claimed that Cyrix lacked the legal resources to stand up against Intel?s legal department. At Cebit, Steve Tobak, VP of marketing, said it would fight Intel and even develop MMX2 extensions.
But although AMD, which licensed the right to develop its own MMX extensions from Intel, stays firm, smaller chip clone manufacturer Cyrix appears to have capitulated.
But the fight goes on. Intel wants the case to go to a higher court and has asked that the whole issue of whether it owns the MMX letters be decided by jury. No date is yet set.
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