AMD still doesn't trust Intel

November 16, 2009: 3:06 PM ET

Settlement or no settlement, Advanced Micro Devices CEO Dirk Meyer still doesn't trust Intel. That much was clear when I sat across the table from him last week at AMD headquarters in Sunnyvale.

I had a chance to talk to Meyer during the AMD analyst meeting last Wednesday. In a series of presentations that morning, Meyer and his lieutenants had made a cogent case that 2010 would be their comeback year. They have cut costs, pared non-core businesses, and returned to designing good chips and delivering them on time. Next year the company plans to begin selling several new chips, including a first: one that has a microprocessor and a graphics processor on the same chip.

But what about Intel (INTC), I asked him. In the past when AMD (AMD) had good products, you accused the chip giant of using its market dominance to unfairly squash you. (Intel has maintained that it plays by the rules.) Why should this time be any different? Do you think the playing field is level now?

Meyer knew what I didn't: that in a few hours, he and Intel CEO Paul Otellini would announce a massive $1.25 billion legal settlement with Intel that's supposed to put the companies' acrimonious past behind them. That didn't seem to change Meyer's outlook on the chip giant, however.

"I would not tell any regulator around the world who's still looking at Intel's business practices to stop," Meyer said. "The work that we've done needs to continue."

Sounds to me like these two rivals might have put down the legal hatchet for now, but they haven't quite buried it.

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