AMD to pay shareholders $30 million to make Llano lawsuit disappear

AMD has agreed to fork out $29.5 million to end a legal battle with its shareholders. The chipmaker told a US court that it had reached an agreement with its shareholders after they accused the company of misleading them in the build up to the disastrous Llano chip launch in 2011. The judge is likely to approve the deal in the coming days, ending years of legal wrangling between the two sides.

The suit was first filed in 2014, representing anyone who had bought AMD shares between April 4 2011 and October 18 2012. The group of shareholders claimed that AMD violated federal securities by misleading investors on the progress of the 32nm Llano chip.

“[AMD] repeatedly highlighted the strong and significant interest in, demand for, and unit shipments of its Llano APUs,” said the plaintiffs in the 2014 filing. “Defendants falsely and misleadingly represented that AMD’s desktop business was in a ‘strong position’ and that it would continue to rebound in 2012.”

Combining CPU and GPU components within a single die, the Llano chip was set to go head-to-head with Intel’s Sandy Bridge line. However, the chips were doomed from the off. After originally planning a release date in 2009, plans were pushed back to 2011 before AMD had to eventually write off $100 million in unsold inventory. The Llano saga pushed AMD into financial turmoil, from which it is only now emerging.

Under the proposed deal, AMD’s insurers will fund the $29.5m payment and the chipmaker will be able to continue to deny it did anything wrong. More details on the specifics of the deal will be released by October 9.

Hopefully AMD’s fortune will reverse in the near future, as Threadripper, Epyc and Vega all show very good signs for the future prospects of the chipmaker.

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