The companies have signed four patent cross-license agreements since 1976, said John Greenagel, an AMD spokesman. "Anything that we patent they can use, and anything they patent we can use," he said.
The companies have engaged in brutal price wars in the past, and remain each other's closest competitors, but patents haven't been part of the fight. "We don't have to design around each other's patents ... and while we have had important ongoing litigation, we've never had a patent dispute."
The agreement covers patent and certain copyrights, he said. Specific terms of the 10-year agreement remain undisclosed.