Saturday, November 10, 2007

AMD and the F.L.K.

Ever hear of the Aegis Combat System? It was a radar combat system developed originally by RCA. One of the jokes you might have read in Tom Clancy novels is that the Aegis's main radar was so powerful that if it was run at maximum output it would cause Funny Looking Kids for anybody pregnant within 3 or 4 miles. I want to say it was in "The Bear and the Dragon."

So what does this have to do with AMD? Well, I just ran a post that AMD hadn't really done anything that warranted commenting on. Now, according to several links in my inbox, and to various popular news sites, AMD is under attack from a former employee who was pregnant while working in a clean room enviroment for AMD. The former employee's child was born with both brain defects and limb damage, which the employee believes was directly caused by chemicals used in the clean-room enviroment.

Thing is, I'm not so sure the employee has a good legal case to stand on. Now, I should state that I've never actually met or talked with somebody who served on a cruiser with the Aegis Combat System. That being said, I know several friends and associates who have worked in combat positions with military forces, and those who have worked with hazardous materials in both combat and civilian positions with both military and commercial entities. I live very, very, very close to the Savannah River Plant, which is a nuclear facility, so I have a bit of personal experience seeing the planning involved with handling such materials, and the planning involved on what should happen if things go horribly wrong.

So, I feel very safe in stating that paranoia is a very common trait among anybody who works with hazardous materials, either directly, or indirectly, whether or not those materials are chemical, biological, or nuclear. Even getting into Savannah River Plant as a civilian results in several notifications that the Plant houses radioactive materials, never minding that I have a better chance of getting a check from Intel for product promotion than a civilian does actually getting within a "danger zone" of any radioactive materials. Everybody I have ever talked with in the past who has been involved with hazardous materials has a long list of the warnings, the procedures, and the training on what to do and how to act around and with such materials.

So... I am finding it very hard to believe that anybody involved in a high security operation like a processor FAB could possibly be unaware of the hazardous consequences the materials in use could cause. Quite simply I find it hard to believe that AMD would possibly allow anybody near the hazardous materials used in the FAB without making sure that their collective legal rear end was covered.

So, for this mother with the handicapped child, I can't possibly see how she could have worked at AMD, in a FAB, without knowing the consequences. That she chose to continue working in the FAB after becoming aware she was Pregnant I think removes any fault from AMD corporate. Simply put, the mother was working with materials (chemicals) that were known to be harmful to pregnancies. Her manager or supervisor would have also been in a position to know the nature of the materials. As soon as the lady knew she was pregnant she should have told her manager / supervisor, and consulted with a doctor. That such an event did NOT happen is a fault of the mother.

The question then... is how badly Dailytech and Anandtech are going to swing the story to make it look like AMD is at fault. There also is a question of how many other funded sites are going to go out of their way to paint AMD as a "bad guy" who put an innocent life at risk. I'm not sure I want to answer that, or try to answer that.
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