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Intel forced to provide a compiler that isn't crippled for AMD processors

Source unknown (mextech.wordpress.com?)
You've probably heard of the recently-settled Intel/AMD anti-trust lawsuit -- most notably, the part of the resolution that involved Intel paying AMD $1.25 billion. But there was a lot more that went into the November 2009 settlement! For example, can you believe that the Intel compiler, the one used to produce a large percentage of all computer programs, intentionally cripples AMD processors?

It's just one of the many sub-clauses of the settlement but an incredibly important caveat for software developers all over the world. If you run a program on two functionally-identical processors, one manufactured by Intel, the other by AMD, the program might run 47% faster on the Intel chip. Other than the open-source community's GNU GCC, there isn't really an alternative to the Intel compiler -- and for some applications the Intel compiler is the only option.

It's crazy but true! If the compiler detects that it's being run on a non-Intel chip, it produces slower, less-optimized code. You can see now why AMD -- and a huge number of software companies and programmers! -- was seeking such huge damages from Intel.

Let's hope the settlement in November means we'll see an end to the anticompetitive play, and a new compiler!

Tags: amd, antitrust, compiler, gcc, intel, lawsuit, source code, SourceCode

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