Semiconductor company AMD has been sued over allegedly misleading the public about the number of real cores that the Bulldozer architecture of CPUs had. The lawsuit claims AMD violated a number of consumer protection measures, including California’s Unfair Competition Law, along with false advertising, fraud, and other similar charges. The lawsuit alleges that AMD advertised the Bulldozer CPU as true eight core unit, when in reality, two core units were combined into a single computation module that shared resources that a single true core would have had to itself, functionally making the Bulldozer CPU a four core processor as opposed to eight.
As a result, the lawsuit alleges, consumers bought AMD Bulldozer CPUs in cases where they would have bought other CPUs. The lawsuit claims that the two cores per module could not perform eight calculations at once, despite operating systems picking them up as eight discreet cores. It should be noted that Windows System Information from Windows 7 onward does pick up a Bulldozer CPU as having four cores with eight logical ones, meaning that it is aware that the processor only has four physical core modules that handle eight threads.
Statutory and punitive damages are being sought in the lawsuit, along with all available measures of legal relief. The Bulldozer architecture powers AMD’s FX line, which AMD had pushed as a six or eight core processor, depending on the CPU. They represented AMD’s top of the line processors marketed towards consumers. AMD has since moved away from the FX line and is now more heavily promoting their new line of APUs with “compute cores.”
AMD leadership had already admitted that Bulldozer was a disappointment following the loss of server market share to Intel, calling it “an unmitigated failure” that cost many people in management their jobs back in 2013. AMD has yet to release a statement in regards to the lawsuit, as of this writing.
A comparable situation to some extent may be NVIDIA’s situation with their GTX 970’s and the claims that they had 4 GB of ram, when instead it later came out they had 3.5 and a 500 mb cache where they were also facing false advertising charges.
What do you think? Did AMD maliciously mislead consumers about the amount of physical cores Bulldozer CPUs had, did they simply get too overzealous in marketing, or is this lawsuit simply hot air? Let us know below!