A class action lawsuit has been filed against chip-maker AMD for allegedly tricking consumers into buying its Bulldozer processors by overstating the number of cores contained in the chips. The suit claims that while Bulldozer was advertised as having eight cores, functionally it actually only had four.
AMD’s multi-core Bulldozer chips use a unique design that combines the functions of what would normally be two discrete cores into a single package, which the company calls a module. Each module is identified as two separate cores in Windows, but the cores share a single floating point unit, and instruction and execution resources. This is different to Intel’s cores, which feature independent FPUs.
The suit claims that Bulldozer’s design means its cores cannot work independently, and as a result, cannot perform eight instructions simultaneously and independently. This, the claim continues, results in performance degradation, and that average consumers in the market for a CPU lack the technical expertise to understand the design of AMD’s processors, and trust the company to give accurate specifications regarding its CPUs.
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