Thursday, January 5th 2012

AMD Flogging Dodgy Chips? Gets Slapped With Lawsuit

AMD has been slapped with a lawsuit by Quanta for allegedly selling faulty CPUs & GPUs that were unfit for purpose, since they didn't meet specified heat tolerances and subsequently failed. Taiwan-based Quanta may not have a name that the general public immediately recognizes, however they are actually the world's largest contract manufacturer of notebooks, so this lawsuit is a big deal. They claim that the faulty parts were used in notebooks made for NEC. The lawsuit was filed in a district court in San Jose, California and in the filing, Quanta claims they have "suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits". As Bloomberg reports, "the lawsuit also claims breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract."

Unsurprisingly, AMD is fighting this lawsuit, with their California-based spokesman Michael Silverman emailing, "AMD disputes the allegations in Quanta’s complaint and believes they are without merit. AMD is aware of no other customer reports of the alleged issues with the AMD chip that Quanta used, which AMD no longer sells. In fact, Quanta has itself acknowledged to AMD that it used the identical chip in large volumes in a different computer platform that it manufactured for NEC without such issues."

Quanta also has contracts to make notebooks for Hewlett-Packard, Dell. and Acer, who no doubt will be watching this lawsuit closely.

The lawsuit is titled: Quanta v. Advanced Micro Devices, 12-cv-12 and has been filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

So, is it the case that the chips are fine and the problem was actually the design of this particular laptop, or were the chips perhaps being run closer to their advertised tolerances and failed prematurely? It's also interesting that this lawsuit is about chips that are no longer made – how many generations back and how far back in time does this lawsuit go? What kind of talks were the companies in before the lawsuit was filed? We will report on this and detail the specific devices at the centre of this dispute if this information comes to light.

This case appears to have shades of the NVIDIA bumpgate scandal, where they were accused of making faulty GPUs due to an excessive number of failures. NVIDIA initially denied this, but eventually admitted to it in 2008 and in 2011 claims from the proposed class action lawsuit began to be processed. Could this Quanta v AMD case go the same way?
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22 Comments on AMD Flogging Dodgy Chips? Gets Slapped With Lawsuit

#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Thanks to radrok for the tip. :toast:

Also, I tried googling the lawsuit, but couldn't find it. It'll have details about the disputed chips and other goodies that I'll be able to update the article with or write a new one.

If someone can track it down, then I'd be very grateful.
Posted on Reply
#3
Lazzer408
by: qubit
Thanks to radrok for the tip. :toast:

Also, I tried googling the lawsuit, but couldn't find it. It'll have details about the disputed chips and other goodies that I'll be able to update the article with or write a new one.

If someone can track it down, then I'd be very grateful.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57352185-92/quanta-sues-amd-over-defective-chips/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-04/quanta-sues-amd-over-chips-for-nec-notebook-computers.html
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#4
GLD
They probably built the notebooks with sub standard parts to save a buck. The units don't perform and they go after the biggest name in the component list. My theory anyway.
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#5
DrunkenMafia
maybe Quanta skipped on adequate cooling for the chips and is trying to cover that up?
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#6
Lionheart
Money money money money money money!
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#7
Super XP
Quanta? lol, good luck trying to prove something that is not true IMO.
AMD should counter sue for waisting its time.
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#8
qwerty_lesh
Shocked to see NEC mentioned and not HP for their abhorrent line of Pavilion hotplates
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#9
NC37
ATI has released bad GPUs in the past the same as NV. Doesn't mean AMD wouldn't.

Heck I had one of them in my iBook G3. GPU kept coming off the board. Replaced 3x before I got Apple to just give me a new unit for free. Got an iBook G4, no problems since, still working to this day.
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#10
_JP_
by: qwerty_lesh
Shocked to see NEC mentioned and not HP for their abhorrent line of Pavilion hotplates
^This.
My DV6625EP isn't much of a performer. Add coil whine plus the heat produced by a Turion and a 8400GS coupled with a small fan and restrictive vent holes and you've got a time-bomb. I still manage to keep the laptop alive and running without issues (besides heating up a bit with games). I should receive an award for the effort. :)
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#11
AsRock
TPU addict
They deal with many other company's but only NEC ones were faulty WTF is with that lol.
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#12
eidairaman1
Never had a problem with a 9800 and that is in the Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 1 Chassis which has 3 fans, 3 heatsinks. Time to go back to that bulky chassis design for powerhouse machines...
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#13
ensabrenoir
Cant catch a break....

There gpus are goood enough to actually make people forget about bashing (not going to say the name)
Then theyre one of the most trusted companies and now this...
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#14
theoneandonlymrk
ive ssen a few turion lapys myself that were heat killed but i blamed the dog hair filter added by the owners myself
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#16
Thefumigator
I remember nvidia 7000 chipset/IGP bad batch where the soldering points melted due to out of spec overheat
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#17
twicksisted
I remember my sisters old Prescott P4 Alienware laptop has serious thermal issues and would constantly shutdown eventually frying something inside due to bad chassis design and cooling.

This isnt uncommon in laptops as the vast majority of them run hot as it is... specially high performance models with dedicated graphics cards. Obviously today tech with 45/32nm low power chips in notebooks it isnt such an issue.

I think they will have a hard time winning this case without proving that their laptop chassis could "take the heat" so to say ;)
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#18
amd/atifiend
it is odd that only one product line and one manufacturer was affected.....makes me suspect the legitimacy of this lawsuit.
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#19
eidairaman1
by: Thefumigator
I remember nvidia 7000 chipset/IGP bad batch where the soldering points melted due to out of spec overheat
That occurred to several GPU lineups from them. I say if you wanna run high end stuff put em in a Dell Xps Inspiron Gen 1 chassis design (thick n bulky but definitely kept a Gallatin/Prescott P4 with dedicated MR9800 cool.
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#20
xenocide
Let's be honest, if this were Intel being sued people would be crucifying them. I'll wait for the actual hearing andor outcome to poke fun. If it was exclusively NEC laptops the problem is clearly with their design...
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#21
eidairaman1
not really even NEC, its Quanta's crappy design... wonder if AMD will counter sue
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#22
pr0n Inspector
by: xenocide
Let's be honest, if this were Intel being sued people would be crucifying them. I'll wait for the actual hearing andor outcome to poke fun. If it was exclusively NEC laptops the problem is clearly with their design...
Or that batch of chips for that batch of NEC laptops were defective...
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