01.04.10

Intel — Like Microsoft — Penalises Competitors Using Secret Software

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 8:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Circuit board

Summary: New allegations of monopoly abuse from Microsoft’s collusion partner, Intel

WHEN the FTC sued Intel for crimes that are similar to Microsoft's it was not yet known that Intel’s actions go beyond bribery, destruction of evidence, and so forth (business/operations side). As it turns out, on the technical side too Intel is breaking the rules. From the news:

THE US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) apparently is interested in the fact that Intel’s compiler deliberately cripples performance for non-Intel processors such as those made by AMD and VIA.

Writing in his blog, programming expert Agner Fog said that it appears that Chipzilla’s compiler can produce different versions of pieces of code, with each version being optimised for a specific processor and/or instruction set. The system detects which CPU it’s running on and chooses the optimal code path accordingly.

This invalidates a lot of benchmarks.

Intel’s crimes may never have it endure sufficient and appropriate punishment, but regardless, it seems as though AMD makes new gains:

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processors will soon be available in two upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad models, breaking Intel’s longtime monopoly on the notebook line.

This is analogous to GNU/Linux getting preinstalled despite Microsoft’s bribery and and other anti-competitive moves whose intention is to altogether remove choice from the market. The FTC should sue Microsoft too.

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2 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 5, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Gravatar

    This is not really new, BTW.
    In fact, it was known long before FTC sued Intel.
    Someone even debugged the Intel compiler and have detailed evidence that it is happening and even a way to patch the compiler to remove the check:
    http://www.swallowtail.org/naughty-intel.shtml
    http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/05/07/12/1320202.shtml
    http://techreport.com/discussions/8547

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Gravatar

    Agner Fog wrote about it too:
    http://www.agner.org/optimize/blog/read.php?i=49

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