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AMD's 45nm technology compared against Intel's

Discussion in 'Intel' started by Yousuf Khan, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Yousuf Khan

    krw Guest

    [I R O N Y]
    krw, Dec 20, 2008
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  2. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    If one of the Intel cases studies of what you can do wrong is about how
    to use your ill-gotten monopoly powers to bully customers and
    competitors, then I agree.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Dec 20, 2008
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  3. Yousuf Khan

    Robert Myers Guest

    Irony can be like (-1)**n. In fact, it almost always is.

    Robert Myers, Dec 20, 2008
  4. Yousuf Khan

    Robert Myers Guest

    Read the thread in comp.arch about garbage in, garbage out, especially
    what Lynn Wheeler has posted. There aren't many saints in business or
    politics. I'm sure that if I *worked* for Intel, I would loathe it.

    Robert Myers, Dec 20, 2008
  5. Although I like AMD, that doesn't make me hate Intel.
    They've just done some stupid things that their large size
    enables them to survive. I do not think Intel's misbehaviour
    has approached that of IBM, let alone Microsoft.

    Respectfully, I do not believe that Intel acquired its'
    monopoly by illegal means. At critical junctures, they
    just out-competed. Monopolies themselves are _not_ illegal,
    but finding yourself with one (and AMD may also qualify)
    does mean certain behaviours are prohibited under US law.

    Sure, some Intel offices did some illegal things, but I believe
    this is a local matter and not a matter of corporate policy.
    Certainly Intel HQ was quite contrite towards the US DoJ when
    challenged. Contrast MS (take us to court) or IBM (we'll
    talk but lawyer you to death).

    What specific actions do you consider Intel "bullying"?
    A certain amount of pressure is normal in business.
    The most persistant oddity has been the Dell sole-source,
    but I'm confident the DoJ has been all over those agreements.

    -- Robert R
    Robert Redelmeier, Dec 20, 2008
  6. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    I did not start this thread to discuss Intel's legal issues or business
    practices, it was supposed to be about Intel's manufacturing technology,
    but as usual it's gone off-kilter. So anyways, let me get my two cents
    in about the original technological argument before we send it back to
    legal and business issues.

    As you'll recall, Intel announced its 45nm process with HKMG (High-K,
    Metal Gates) to great fanfare. Various websites and forums proclaimed it
    an amazing achievement. Well, the standard AMD 45nm SOI without HKMG
    process seems to be superior to Intel's, as they are seeing lower power
    and thermal requirements at the low-end, and higher overclockability at
    the high-end. AMD will be adding HKMG later on in the 45nm process too,
    but so far it looks unnecessary.

    That belief is not supported by the facts. Intel has already been tried
    and convicted by two countries, Japan and South Korea. Now they're in
    the fight of their lives in the entire EU, affecting dozens of countries
    of course. There is no such thing as lesser misbehaviour when it comes
    to anti-trust, you either committed the acts or you didn't.
    Intel was kicked out of the memory market quite some years ago, because
    it couldn't compete. One can only assume that they took that exit
    personally and decided that the processor market was their line in the
    sand, the one that no one else shall be allowed to pass. Let's not
    forget that at one time there must have been nearly a dozen companies
    that produced x86 processors, now they are down to the final two. It
    seems like they have outcompeted them, but dead men can't tell their tales.
    It was hardly just a local matter, it's endemic to its entire corporate
    culture, worldwide. It's not even beneath them to try to crush a
    charity, if they perceive it to be not using their parts. This should
    not be a surprise, once monopoly mentality hits, it hits the entire
    corporation, like at IBM and Microsoft previously. BTW, just because the
    American government hasn't held Intel accountable, that's just a false
    sense of security: no one should expect either the US DoJ or FTC (or any
    other federal agency, for that matter) were at all doing their jobs
    properly during the entire George W. Bush administration.

    In Europe, it looks like Intel has already seen the hand-writing on the
    wall, even before the EU's competition commission has issued its ruling.
    It's now suing the EU for unfairness. I guess it realized the EU was
    unfair, when they raided Intel's offices *twice*!!

    Intel Calls EU Antitrust Probe 'Discriminatory and Partial' - CIO.com -
    Business Technology Leadership
    "The European Union's antitrust investigation of Intel is
    "discriminatory and partial," the chip maker complained in an action
    that's detailed in a recent edition of the EU's official journal, saying
    it's not being permitted to properly defend itself against the charges."

    It's also decided to retroactively sue the South Korean FTC, just to
    show it's being besieged unfairly by everybody.

    EETimes.com - Intel seeks to overturn Korean FTC ruling
    "In response to a ruling, Intel has filed a complaint with the Seoul
    High Court seeking to overturn the KFTC's final written decision that
    was served on Intel on Nov. 7. The filing asserts that ''the KFTC has
    made substantial factual and legal errors in formulating its final
    written opinion,'' but Intel did not disclose the details."
    The Dell issue all of those years ago is just one of the points of
    contention. One can even argue that Dell has tumbled from the top spot
    in the US market, as a result of Intel pulling all of its subsidies from
    them ($1bn/year). The fact that Intel pulled its subsidies could also be
    seen as a result of AMD's lawsuit making things too hot for them.

    But Dell isn't the only example. In Europe, a major computer store
    chain, Media Markt, has been accused of taking Intel money in return for
    refusing to accept computer models with AMD processors in them.

    Intel also gives illegal discounts which are not based on sales volume,
    but on market share percentages (e.g. bigger discounts if 80% of your
    processors are Intel rather than just 70%, or 90% over 80%, etc.).
    Discounts based on volume are perfectly legal, discounts based on sales
    proportion are not.

    It does not even see a problem with competing against its own partners,
    even if that partner is a charitable organization. A few years ago, the
    OLPC effort invited Intel to sit in on its board meetings as one of its
    partners, hoping that Intel would stop trying to sell its own notebook
    against them. Intel used to opportunity tell potential customers that it
    sits on the board of OLPC and that it knows for sure that OLPC is crap,
    and they should buy from Intel instead. Various world governments sent
    the transcripts of Intel's backstabbing sales efforts to OLPC. OLPC then
    kicked Intel out again.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Dec 21, 2008
  7. Yousuf Khan

    Robert Myers Guest

    Intel has done many things over the years (keeping the controller off
    the die, killing Alpha, sticking with a front-side bus, NetBurst,
    hyperthreading, not using SOI) that have occasioned critical comment.
    There is always information missing from those discussions, which is
    that Intel almost always has good business reasons for doing what it
    does. Its judgment may be faulty, but the key is that *you do not
    have access to those reasons*.

    The one piece of information that is available (stock price) indicates
    that, whatever missteps Intel may have made, it's business judgment
    (as judged by markets) has proven to be superior to AMD's. The
    situation with AMD has become so dire that it almost seems pointless
    to talk about it, although there may be someone out there with
    business judgment much better than I possess to see how a viable
    enterprise can be created in the future.

    In any case, I suspect the decision against SOI was a matter of cost,
    and I even vaguely remember some statements to that effect. I said
    actually that I had cited stock prices as the one available indicator,
    when margin (also publicly available) indicates that Intel manages to
    have lower manufacturing costs. It all comes down to Intel being a
    *business* and not a classroom project, a dorm room bull session, or a
    soccer football team.

    Your post seems to confirm what I think is your ongoing delusion about
    Intel: that it is simply a better marketing machine than AMD. That it
    *is* a better marketing machine is probably correct. That that's all
    there is to Intel is nothing short of corporate defamation, if that's
    what you indeed intend to imply. Intel's real advantage, widely
    acknowledged in the industry, is that it knows how to manufacture high-
    end microprocessors at the lowest possible cost.

    SOI is one of many dead and rotting horses on csiphc. Let it be.
    What's interesting about it is historical: it played a key role in the
    triumph of x86. Isn't that enough?

    Robert Myers, Dec 21, 2008
  8. Yousuf Khan

    Del Cecchi` Guest

    As I understood the arguments over HKMG a year or so ago, it was more a
    yield thing than a performance thing, although it was said to reduce
    gate leakage due to tunneling.
    "It seemed like a good idea at the time" in some cases clearly turned
    out not to be so good. Examples range from IBM's FS to their billion
    dollars worth of X-ray machine in East Fishkill.

    Likewise the business reasons Intel had may or may not have been "good"
    in the eye of a dispassionate observer.
    AMD has been a minor portion of the market and therefore at a cost
    disadvantage for years. Couple that with scratching to survive and it
    can lead to misteps. Monopoly level market share makes up for a lot of
    Intel manages to have lower manufacturing costs than AMD primarily
    because it has much greater volume. Look up "learning curve".
    Many processors are made with SOI, including all of IBM's, and the three
    game console processors. So I don't know why you think it is a dead and
    rotting horse. It has some advantages, after all.

    I will now return all of you to your acrimonious disputes.

    Del Cecchi`, Dec 22, 2008
  9. Yousuf Khan

    Robert Myers Guest

    Dispassionate observers of SOI for x86 (or of Intel) don't work for
    IBM. I don't work for either, have never worked for either, and I
    don't own stock in either, either directly or indirectly.

    I'd *love* to know how Intel made some of its decisions. The only one
    that's process-related is how Intel managed to be caught so flat-
    footed at 90nm. Even there, the real question is why they didn't
    abandon NetBurst sooner than they did. What kinds of lies were they
    telling themselves? What did they know and when did they know it?

    Those are, to me, really interesting questions to ask, but they don't
    lend themselves to the soccer stadium hooliganism that has so often
    passed for discussion, and only rarely do we get to hear anyone who
    actually knows anything speak to them.
    You could just as well say that Intel has suffered for its size, and
    it has, as I think IBM has, in the past, paid for its size. Intel is
    famous for being able to replicate manufacturing on a large scale. On
    the face of it, though, experience with Prescott suggests that Intel
    is maybe not so good at managing huge design resources--but that's
    only a guess. Big organizations can have big economies of scale.
    They can also have bloated and dysfunctional org charts.
    I'm not in the business, so I couldn't comment on how easy it is to
    scale up process manufacturing. Not trivial, though, I'll bet.
    One can never be too careful when writing a post. I naively assumed
    the implied context of the groups: ibm pc's and intel systems. From
    those points of view, it's all old news, unless, of course, you're
    scratching around for positive things to say about AMD's lagging
    technology or trying to revive an old argument.

    Robert Myers, Dec 22, 2008
  10. Yousuf Khan

    Robert Myers Guest

    You said that the people in finance know how to manage risk. The fact
    that the people you're working for haven't lost money proves nothing.
    Up until very recently, lots of companies on Wall Street have made
    tons of money. They didn't suddenly get stupid, and it wasn't some
    isolated failure.

    The fundamental mistake they made was to assume that, because markets
    have behaved that way in the past, with predictable consequences, they
    will continue to behave that way in the future, with similarly
    predictable consequences. That's the risk methodology they have
    depended on in the past, and it's the risk methodology that your
    customers believe will work just as well for software as it has for

    It's possible that the risk methodology will actually work better for
    software than it will for markets, but that's pure conjecture. The
    fact that your customers manage risk in markets is, at the moment, a
    howlingly bad credential for them as being all-knowing about risk

    Robert Myers, Dec 31, 2008
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