AMD Slapped with Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Company claims that the chip maker violated its "predictive snoop" patented technology in some of its microprocessors.

Advanced Micro Devices has been hit with a lawsuit that claims the chip maker violated three patents that belong to Opti, a Mountain View, Calif., company that makes controller chips for PCs and LCD monitors.

Specifically, the lawsuit charges that AMD violated Optis patented "predictive snooping" technology. The lawsuit, according to a statement from Opti, claims that AMD has used this technology in several of its processors.

According to one definition, snooping technology involves the transfer of data from a PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) bus controller to a PCI master bus. The technology helps shorten the delay in this type of data transfer.

"The complaint alleges that AMD infringes the patents by making, selling and offering for sale CPUs and core logic products based on and incorporating Predictive Snooping technology and inducing and contributing to the infringement of the patents by others," Opti said in a statement.

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The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Nov. 15, seeks unspecified damages from AMD.

A spokesperson for AMD, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., said the company has not received a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment.

The lawsuit specifically refers to U.S. patents 5,710,906, 5,813,036 and 6,405,291. All are titled: "Predictive Snooping of Cache Memory for Master-Initiated Accesses."

AMD, the worlds second-largest maker of processors, is no stranger to lawsuits. It has been involved in an ongoing anti-trust lawsuit with main rival Intel.

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