Class can draw on $12 million settlement fund

Back to School

In another throwback to an earlier case, we revisit Tony Dickey, et al. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., a class action that made quite a splash when it was filed back in 2015.

Now, pay attention. This is nerd material. The original complaint centered on Advanced Micro Devices’s (AMD’s) “Bulldozer” core processors. Each core processor is an independent processing unit within a computer’s CPU that can independently execute user commands; if your computer boasts more core processors, you can reasonably expect increased processing power and a faster execution of commands.

The suit alleges that the Bulldozer was hawked to high-end designers and gamers as the “world’s first 8-core CPU.” But Dickey and the class he represented accused AMD of softening its definition of “core.” The original suit maintains that AMD “built the Bulldozer processors by stripping away components from two cores and combining what was left to make a single ‘module.’ But by removing certain components of two cores to make one module, they no longer work independently.”

Which meant that an 8-core was really a 4-core. Which meant decreased performance. And a false advertising suit.

The Takeaway

In our last report, we relayed how AMD suffered a defeat in the Northern District of California when the court certified Dickey’s putative class of AMD processor buyers.

And now, a settlement has been reached.

The chipmaker has agreed to set up a $12.1 million fund for the chip purchasers with a cap of 30% of the fund value placed on attorney’s fees. The award works out to $35 per chip if 20% of the class stakes a claim. “The value of the proposed common fund represents a recovery of approximately 20% of the damages Plaintiffs would have sought to prove at trial on behalf of the certified class,” the agreement reads. “And, based on their experience, Class Counsel estimate that claiming class members are likely to receive more than 50% of the value of their certified claims had they prevailed at trial.” One wonders how the class members feel about this statement, when some of the original processors sold for upward of $250 each.