Wednesday, June 26th 2019

Intel Internal Memo Reveals that even Intel is Impressed by AMD's Progress

Today an article was posted on Intel's internal employee-only portal called "Circuit News". The post, titled "AMD competitive profile: Where we go toe-to-toe, why they are resurgent, which chips of ours beat theirs" goes into detail about the recent history of AMD and how the company achieved its tremendous growth in recent years. Further, Intel talks about where they see the biggest challenges with AMD's new products, and what the company's "secret sauce" is to fight against these improvements.
The full article follows:

Introduction
We are now entering the latest chapter of the tech industry's single longest-running business rivalry. Intel and AMD have been competing for many of the same chip customers for more than 50 years.

Both firms were launched within just a few miles and a few months of each other in Silicon Valley in July 1968 (Intel) and May 1969 (AMD).

Although over the last five decades Intel has grown to more than 10 times the size of AMD - $70.1 billion versus $6.48 billion in the most recently reported annual revenues - the two companies are now competing fiercely across several market segments.

By most accounts, the competitive threat to Intel from AMD is the greatest it has been in years.

At the same time, CEO Bob Swan reminded employees just last week that "our ambitions are as big as they've ever been." In his June One Take video, Bob said that that our transformation to a "customer obsessed" company will serve us especially well as we "deliver the best partnerships" in the industry to confront a variety competitive threats.

This is the context in which the latest AMD vs Intel struggle is playing out.

Following AMD's recent product announcements at Computex and the E3 gaming conference, this profile - the latest in a Circuit News series on Intel's major competitors such as TSMC - examines AMD and the challenges that company is posing to some of our businesses.
Why AMD is now a formidable competitor
AMD is getting bigger. The company's most recent annual report notes that 2018 marked the firm's "second straight year of greater than 20% annual revenue growth," in large part due to its newest Ryzen products for desktop, and EPYC for enterprise, cloud, and datacenter.

As Intel's major CPU competitor focuses on Intel's enviable share across several market segments, AMD is attracting increasing interest on Wall Street. It was the best-performing stock on the S&P 500 in 2018, and to date this year the stock price has risen significantly.

What accounts for AMD's resurgence as a formidable Intel competitor? In part, it may be the company's strategic re-focus on premium high-performance products for the desktop, datacenter, and server market segments. (Dive deeper on this and related questions in the Q&A below with Intel competitive expert Steve Collins.)

Key AMD competitive threats are from high-end products
At a high level, the experts on Intel's Performance, Power and Competitive Analysis team say that the competitive threats that AMD poses to Intel can be summarized as follows:
  • AMD offers high performance CPUs, posing direct competition to Intel in both our core client and datacenter CPU businesses. With our announced ambitions to bring new discrete graphics to market, we are bringing new competition to both AMD's and NVIDIA's graphics businesses.
  • AMD has recently been gaining some traction in winning public cloud offerings. And competition from AMD is shaping up to be especially tough in high performance computing. HPC performance is usually driven by the number of cores and the number of memory channels (or memory bandwidth). Intel is challenged on both fronts.
  • AMD's upcoming next-generation Zen-core products, codenamed Rome for servers and Matisse for desktop, will intensify our desktop and especially server competition. The latter is likely to be the most intense in about a decade. At Computex, AMD announced that Matisse, the company's 3rd Gen Ryzen 3000 series processors, would be available starting July 7. (See "Related links" section below for details on Intel's Computex news relating to our gaming and client competitiveness.)
  • Outside of desktop and servers, Intel's competitive position in notebooks and business PCs is stronger as customers value specific aspects such as productivity performance, battery life, and overall manageability where Intel has clear advantages versus the competition.
  • By leveraging TSMC's 7nm manufacturing - AMD no longer manufactures its own chips - AMD can drive higher core counts and higher performance than it could previously with Global Foundries as its in-house manufacturer. These 7nm products will amplify the near-term competitive challenge from AMD. At Computex, Intel launched our own 10nm "Ice Lake" products - 10th Gen Intel Core - to strongly positive reviews.
Challenging period ahead
What is Intel's positioning regarding these multiple competitive threats? Today and into the near future, says Intel's AMD competitive expert Steve Collins, "we will be facing tough competitive challenges."

These are a few key points on how Intel's products compare to AMD's, points that Intel will be underscoring in the challenging period ahead.
  • Intel 9th Gen Core processors are likely to lead AMD's Ryzen-based products on lightly threaded productivity benchmarks as well as many gaming benchmarks. For multi-threaded workloads, such as heavy content creation workloads, AMD's Matisse is expected to lead.
  • In the longstanding industry debate over benchmarks - whose to use? - Cinebench is often used by AMD, since it favors high core/thread count and represents one of the best-case benchmarks for AMD. Intel believes that Cinebench is not a representative benchmark for general platform evaluations and real life workloads. Intel continues to work with press on using real applications for evaluating performance, to produce pieces such as this one from PCPerspective.
  • In general, Intel's mainstream Xeon server products will be challenged on throughput-oriented benchmarks that scale well with core count. Architecturally, AMD's Rome product for servers is improved over 1st generation EPYC, but Xeon is still expected to have cache and memory latency advantages. For this reason, Intel still expects Xeon to be competitive on applications that require fast response times and are sensitive to memory latencies like database, analytics, web serving, and so on.
Intel's secret sauce
Intel's secret sauce is not a single ingredient. Rather, it is the six pillars of innovation - process, architecture, memory, interconnect, security, and software - that the company laid out at last year's Intel Architecture Day. Intel is uniquely positioned, given our assets, to to deliver leadership products leveraging these six pillars.

Our competitive experts believe that Intel's ambition to achieve long-term leadership will hinge on successful execution to these six pillars.

Software, one of the six pillars, has long been an unheralded Intel advantage. A key piece of our company's competitive strategy is to highlight our software smarts vis-à-vis AMD. Intel-designed software or software code contributions - which can touch everything from the Linux kernel to Adobe Lightroom - can capitalize on unique features in Intel architecture.

These often under-the-hood software assets differentiate Intel from AMD and can deliver a better experience to end users and customers. One metric of Intel's software strength: Our company's 15,000 software developers. That number is more than all of AMD's employees.

A final but essential point that Intel's competitive team underscores is that Intel versus AMD is not just a chip-to-chip matchup. Intel's unique strengths lie in the unequalled breadth of our overall portfolio across business, mobile, desktop, gaming-as well as platform advantages including Optane memory, WiFi, Thunderbolt, Turbo Boost 2.0, and other technologies.

A high-profile example of Intel's focus on platforms is Project Athena, a multi-year innovation program that aims to deliver a new class of advanced laptops. Another key Intel advantage is all the built-in acceleration for emerging workloads such as networking and AI. Features like Intel Deep Learning Boost, along with all the software and framework optimizations, create clear differentiation versus AMD.

Steve Collins Q&A: Why AMD is resurgent, and what we must do next
To provide additional color and context on the Intel-AMD competitive environment, we talked recently with Steven Collins. He is the Director of the Data-centric Competitive Assessment group on our company's Performance, Power and Competitive Analysis team.

Q. Why does it matter that AMD is going to TSMC for manufacturing?
  • It means that they have the flexibility to use whatever process technology they want, whatever process is best for their products. TSMC offers an advantage in terms of process node advancements. [See the Circuit News competitive profile on TSMC.] They're using their 7 nm process, and with that they get a per-core frequency bump and lower power, which means they can scale to more cores per processor.
  • On top of that, AMD made improvements in their 2nd generation Zen core and their disaggregated chiplet-based architecture scales cores efficiently. Therefore, on workloads that are heavily threaded, including heavy content creation and most server workloads, they'll get great performance results. And on price, we expect their pricing to be significantly below ours. So they'll likely get good performance-per-dollar. That's what they're going to compete on, and that's the risk to Intel.
Q. So that raises the obvious point: How do we respond when people say "Wow, AMD is charging a lot less for their products than Intel."
  • It's not well understood that Intel actually offers the market a larger selection of product pricing. While the press often likes to focus on Intel's top price points being higher than AMD's top price, few people recognize that Intel also offers lower entry pricing than AMD. So Intel offers more price point choices to our customers.
  • Additionally, I would say users don't buy a chip. They buy a system. They buy a whole solution that includes software enabling, vendor enabling, validation, technical support, manageability, out-of-box experience, supplier sustained consistency, and more. So, yes, while an OEM or ODM might buy a chip, the end user doesn't generally buy only a chip. We believe that our product pricing vis-à-vis AMD reflects the great deal of added value that specifically comes from buying Intel with our decades of unmatched investments in validation, software, and security.
  • Especially for enterprise customers, acquisition cost is just one part of the total cost of ownership. Customers using an alternative solution may need additional validation, optimization, debugging, and certifications - all normal cost adders when introducing a new solution in an IT environment. Additionally, some software is licensed per core and therefore more cores from the AMD solution results in higher licensing costs.
  • Performance challenges absolutely exist, but we will continue to position our value and our advantages. Some innovations we bring to the table that deliver customer value may not always result in higher performance benchmark scores, or the value of the innovation goes beyond standard benchmark results. We price to what our customers value.
  • Intel is a premium brand. At times, and on some workloads, we might dip below on performance, like the second half of this year. At other times, and on other workloads, we are 3x or more the performance. Our pricing will continue to reflect the value we deliver to our customers.
Q. What accounts for AMD's competitive resurgence? Did TSMC turn AMD into our biggest competitor, or is it AMD's focus on higher-end desktop and server parts?
  • From 2006 to 2017, AMD had positive net income only three of the twelve years. I'm not sure we can point to a single thing that turned AMD around. But I do think it's was absolutely rooted in the strategic changes AMD initiated in 2015/2016 that narrowed and simplified their focus. AMD shifted to focus on higher margin or premium segments, specifically high-end client, datacenter, graphics for gaming. And they continued their investment in their semi-custom and console business.
  • Rather than going after lower-margin, low-end products, they refocused on how to win higher-margin business. AMD added much-needed clarity since they were previously distracted by markets that didn't align with their strengths. They simplified their investments and roadmap and started leveraging best-in-class foundries. Most importantly, they executed to that strategy. Having a clear focus and direction helps enable great execution.
  • I also believe AMD's comeback was a result of being very product-centric. A top priority for AMD was building great products - high-performance compute and graphics solutions - from definition to development to delivery.
Q. How do you think we should be looking overall at the Intel-AMD competitive picture right now?
  • Well, first, it's clearly a challenging time. We have significant competitive challenges to navigate. That said, I think we have a great strategy and a great roadmap.
  • While it has been a number of years since we've faced a similar competitive environment (in the early 2000s with 1 GHz barrier, integrated memory controller, 64-bit, and so on) Intel has risen to every situation and almost always emerged better and stronger.
  • Our focus needs to be on getting our execution in shape as soon as possible. We're in a competitive time partly because of our execution issues, whether that's related to our process technology node, or to our products that intercept those nodes. So I think that execution to our roadmap and strategy will help tremendously.
  • Beyond product execution, we need to lean on our software expertise and strength and amplify our software differentiation - now more than ever.
  • Finally, in competitive times, overall marketing, ensuring our customers understand our differentiated value proposition, along with customer obsession, are critical. Now more than ever, we need to lean into our sales and marketing teams to help carry us through these product challenges.
Q. And your last point touches on our cultural transformation, too.
  • Yes. AMD's next gen 7nm-based products amplify our competitive challenges. While it has been a number of years since we've faced similar competition, Intel has risen to every situation and almost always emerged better and stronger. Are we acting as One Intel or are we stepping on each other's toes? Are we facing our challenges with truth and transparency?
  • Are we listening to our customers and designing the right things in the first place? I think it all goes back to these things. As we succeed at these cultural transformations, I believe our overall competitiveness will improve too.
  • I'd encourage all employees to browse the Intel resources at the bottom of this story, especially competition.intel.com. This is where, for example, we will publish data on AMD's upcoming Zen 2-based systems.
  • Finally, I would say that even in the face of strong competitive challenges, when all 107,000 of us behave as One Intel, as CEO Bob Swan has said, we are unstoppable.
Source: Hardwareluxx
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123 Comments on Intel Internal Memo Reveals that even Intel is Impressed by AMD's Progress

#101
GoldenX
We also have VIA Master Race, they even do GPUs.
Posted on Reply
#102
StrayKAT
Mamya3084, post: 4070765, member: 186201"
Shitrix more like it. I remember the days of my first PC with a Shitrix PR300 and a voodoo banshee. Counter strike at 10Fps.
Heh.. my first PC was a Cyrix 486-50. Seemed straightforward enough though. Things got more complicated after Pentium.
Posted on Reply
#103
RealNeil
64K, post: 4070249, member: 148270"
The only way that I can figure Intel is that they got complacent being on top for so long. Tech progression stagnated and they were for a long while selling 4 core 8 thread CPUs for what they should have been selling 6 core 12 thread CPUs for. It's the same lesson over and over again. When there is a lack of competition then the company on top charges more for less value and tech stagnates.
This.
Intel rested for far too long on their laurels and the urgency to innovate wasn't strong enough.
Now they're ~real~ interested,.....urgently.

I love it.

trparky, post: 4070394, member: 170376"
Look at the 8700K, it runs as hot as a mofo (partly due to the paste TIM that they use)
8700K, note the temps
240mm AIO cooled

Posted on Reply
#104
trparky
What are your temps when doing MPEG4 h.264 encoding/transcoding using Handbrake? Because that’s when I see the higher than like-able temps.

I’m ripping some DVDs (that I have to stress, I own them!) and when compressing down the content from the raw MKV files I see high temps.

Edit: I've done some research and Handbrake's h.264 encoder does indeed use AVX 256-bit instructions.
Intel
Accelerating x265 with Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512)
The x264 project for Advanced Video Coding (AVC) encoding and the x265 project for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) encoding are the two widely used media libraries that extensively use multiple generations of SIMD instructions on Intel architecture processors, from MMX technology all the way up to Intel AVX2.
AVX instructions, especially the 256-bit kind, can very much heat a processor up.
Posted on Reply
#105
john_
EarthDog, post: 4070455, member: 79836"
Yes. It is and can be a good one depending on use cases. It can EASILY blow the monetary savings of the cpu (core vs core and thread vs thread) right out the door. Over buying on cores and threads in a DC environment can be quite detrimental to the bottom line on many fronts.
AMD sells models of server CPUs with 8 cores, not only models with 32-64 cores. And at lower prices compared to Intel. If there is a market where more than 2 or 4 cores are a negative, I am pretty sure they can start selling models with a limited number of cores. So, where is the problem?
Posted on Reply
#106
bug
StrayKAT, post: 4070741, member: 174092"
It wouldn't have been so bad years ago. It's remarkable just how few CPU companies/designers are around anymore.
Actually there's quite a lot of them. Just not in the PC business.
Posted on Reply
#107
StrayKAT
bug, post: 4070919, member: 157434"
Actually there's quite a lot of them. Just not in the PC business.
I had some of those in mind too. Up until the recession or a bit before, it seemed like every UNIX company had their own chips. I don't even know what's around anymore except Power.
Posted on Reply
#108
bug
StrayKAT, post: 4070925, member: 174092"
I had some of those in mind too. Up until the recession or a bit before, it seemed like every UNIX company had their own chips. I don't even know what's around anymore except Power.
While it's true those went the way of the Dodo, we now have ARM based designs creeping their way into that market.
Posted on Reply
#109
lexluthermiester
StrayKAT, post: 4070787, member: 174092"
Heh.. my first PC was a Cyrix 486-50. Seemed straightforward enough though. Things got more complicated after Pentium.
Cyrix CPU's were very solid BITD.
Posted on Reply
#110
waltc
Steevo, post: 4070380, member: 19251"
They should check the security pillar. I think it's made of jello.
I liked that...;) Funny...;) Apropos!

EarthDog, post: 4070455, member: 79836"
Yes. It is and can be a good one depending on use cases. It can EASILY blow the monetary savings of the cpu (core vs core and thread vs thread) right out the door. Over buying on cores and threads in a DC environment can be quite detrimental to the bottom line on many fronts.
*cough* For every piece of software that charges by the core for using it, there are at least four competing pieces of software that charge according to other metrics--like, uh, perceived quality and professional reputation, for instance, or, uh compatibility with varying software standards, or even, in some cases, security. Or some combination thereof! Unless the software is in the "my business cannot survive without this software" category, my sincere recommendation is to eschew these "licensed by the x86 core" applications as if they are spreading plague...;)

Shatun_Bear, post: 4070508, member: 166032"
Intel are scrambling. Worse position they've been in since Athlon 64, maybe even worse as this time they're helmed by a band-aid choice of a CEO, Bob Swan. A man that has no understanding of the main products Intel develops vs a MIT powerhouse who studied electrical engineering for her PhD.
Bingo! So much of a company's fate is inextricably applied to the man at the top--After the highpoint of A64, @ AMD, the point at which the company should have taken off like a bat out of hell, putting the wrong person at the top of the stack in the CEO position came darn close to killing the company off, instead--which would have been a tragedy--would have set general computing back maybe 50 years. It didn't happen, thankfully---investors largely kept the clock ticking at AMD until the right CEO could be landed, and she had one foot in engineering and one foot in the consumer markets and she understood AMD's situation perfectly! Lisa Su was ideal on so many levels it defies description. The right ma--er, lady, for the job! In spades! Lots of CEO candidates might have identified AMD's problems correctly but few of them would have known how to solve them! But CEO mismanagement is the #1 cause of computer companies expiring--a la Commodore--just one example--Cyrix, and many more. I mean, for years at AMD the company had a CEO so utterly clueless about "What to do?--where to go?" that at one point AMD was actually selling Intel servers under the AMD brand! *talk about face palm* I thought at the time it was finally curtains for AMD as selling servers for Intel had to be the bottom--but Lisa Su came on deck, ready to knock the ball out of the park, little did I know....;) AMD simply doesn't have the money to toss away like Intel has and wastes, but the interesting thing is that Intel's mistakes today are going to begin exacting penalties that have far greater short-term and long term effects on Intel--and it's all because of the fact that AMD is making Intel appear to be the quite second-rate tech company. It's AMD executing on a dime these days--certainly not Intel. ATM Intel has a huge cash warchest to sit on, but the flip side is that a company the size of Intel can burn through money like there's no tomorrow, so sitting pat on past performance to continue to bring in something isn't going to work all that much longer! Either Intel will make the products people want--or it won't--and there's no gray area left. It's a very binary proposition.
Posted on Reply
#111
trparky
And we come back to the question of why did Intel put a finance guy in the CEO seat?
Posted on Reply
#112
Slizzo
trparky, post: 4071197, member: 170376"
And we come back to the question of why did Intel put a finance guy in the CEO seat?
Bob Swan hasn't been at the head of the company long enough to be involved in any of the end-point decisions that have put them in the place they're in currently.

We'll need some time with him in the seat to see what comes of his tenure.
Posted on Reply
#113
bug
lexluthermiester, post: 4071142, member: 134537"
Cyrix CPU's were very solid BITD.
Really? I remember them being the weakest of the bunch. Ok with integer processing (but so was everybody else), but weakest when it came to FP.
But it would be nice if Cyrix and VIA were still around. Because now fanboys on either side, only have one brand to hate :D
Posted on Reply
#114
RealNeil
trparky, post: 4070853, member: 170376"
What are your temps when doing MPEG4 h.264 encoding/transcoding using Handbrake?
AVX instructions, especially the 256-bit kind, can very much heat a processor up.
I don't know because I never use Handbrake. If I do copy a movie, (a rare occurrence) I use DVD Fab to do it with.
Posted on Reply
#115
Deathy
"maybe providing amd IP to Intels X86 many years ago wasn't such a smart long term move after all? " - voltage

"I think it's about Intel licensing x86 to AMD" - XiGMAKiD

"I think what he's on about was when things went 64-bit, or something...
AMD cross licensed AMD64 with Intel, so they could go on making x86 compatible CPUs." - TheLostSwede

GinoLatino, post: 4070339, member: 180136"
The first one... English isn't my first language too, but I understood what he meant.
Then I wouldn't mind being enlightened to what you think he meant. We have two different takes on this so far. One seems to think he meant that it was a mistake for AMD to license AMD64 to Intel. One seems to think it was a mistake for Intel to license x86 to AMD. Both of which would be an oversimplification to the point of meaninglessness. Not to mention both interpretations seeing two different failures (one on the AMD side one on the Intel side).
Posted on Reply
#116
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
Deathy, post: 4071513, member: 181802"
"maybe providing amd IP to Intels X86 many years ago wasn't such a smart long term move after all? "
In the post 486/586 era of Intel and AMD
Intel needed a IP Cross licensing agreement with AMD as much as AMD also needed this Cross licensing ( and Probably more ).
AMD Brought X64 to the Deal which Intel wanted/Desperately needed.
The Other big Player Cyrix Had no IP that Intel wanted or needed and therefore could not effectivly compete with Intel (Pentium) and AMD (athlon ).
Posted on Reply
#117
Deathy
dorsetknob, post: 4071519, member: 8331"
The Other big Player Cyrix Had no IP that Intel wanted or needed and therefore could not effectivly compete with Intel (Pentium) and AMD (athlon ).
If that is what the OP meant, it is still a very limited view of a very complicated issue that has - in the end - little to do with cross licensing (which both parties and the consumers have gained by) and more to do with the own engineering staff and innovations. For who exactly was the AMD64 licensing deal not the "smart long term move after all" in this case? Intel is still the 60+ billion jaggernaut vs the AMD 6+ billion wallflower. Was AMD supposed to not license AMD64? It was a great implementation but even back then with AMD winning nearly every performance and price contest and charging 1k for binned FX chips, Intel had the vast majority of the market secured. If AMD hadn't let them license it, they would have lacked some crucial instruction sets themselve and Intel might just have gone forward with their own implementation and considering their lock on the market (through PR, money and shady/illegal actions) might have succeeded even more. Intel without at least a competent AMD would also be the target of many anti-trust investigations and potential splitting of the company. Cyrix is also an interesting subject in and of itself, since they just reverse engineered Intel CPUs without actually having an x86 license (very clever but you can't compete by reverse engineering alone for long). Via was/is the only other player with such a license. Cyrix went in another direction, before AMD64 became a thing.
Posted on Reply
#118
bug
dorsetknob, post: 4071519, member: 8331"
In the post 486/586 era of Intel and AMD
Intel needed a IP Cross licensing agreement with AMD as much as AMD also needed this Cross licensing ( and Probably more ).
AMD Brought X64 to the Deal which Intel wanted/Desperately needed.
The Other big Player Cyrix Had no IP that Intel wanted or needed and therefore could not effectivly compete with Intel (Pentium) and AMD (athlon ).
To add to the context, AMD also didn't have much IP Intel wanted. But they bought what they needed from DEC and marketed that technology. It was probably a pretty risky move, but it paid out big time.
Posted on Reply
#119
lexluthermiester
bug, post: 4071326, member: 157434"
Really? I remember them being the weakest of the bunch. Ok with integer processing (but so was everybody else), but weakest when it came to FP.
Na, Cyrix CPU's benchmarked fairly well in games and traded wins with like all the rest. Their downside was that they ran hotter than AMD, Intel and VIA. Even the Winchips ran cooler.
bug, post: 4071326, member: 157434"
But it would be nice if Cyrix and VIA were still around. Because now fanboys on either side, only have one brand to hate :D
Right? It's not like the market isn't big enough for them now..
Posted on Reply
#120
GoldenX
The cost of getting on par with the freaking Atoms in performance must be huge.
Posted on Reply
#121
quadibloc
I'm glad the full memo is here, since it disappeared from the original Reddit site.
In my opinion, the real challenge to Intel comes from TSMC, rather than really from AMD itself. Their "7nm" may only be equivalent to Intel's 10nm, but they had it ready first.
It's true that Intel has as many people working on software for Intel chips as AMD has period. So Intel has a good Fortran compiler for Intel chips which is expensive - and AMD has a free Fortran compiler for AMD chips, from the open-source LLVM, which only runs on Linux. So that's an area where Intel is ahead. But that made me think of the rivalry between IBM and Control Data, and the famous "including the janitor" memo.
More is not always better, even if the small size of AMD is limiting it in some ways.

bug, post: 4071326, member: 157434"
But it would be nice if Cyrix and VIA were still around.
Given that Microsoft Windows needs an x86 to run on, what would be nice is if the x86 architecture didn't require licensing. So that in addition to SPARC, Sun could have made x86; in addition to PowerPC, IBM could have made x86 (actually, they did for a while, licensing it from Cyrix). Any company able to make a CPU ought to be able to make a CPU that can actually be used: one that can run Windows. And if Windows and the applications for it aren't distributed as source, because it isn't free like Linux, then that means the dominance of Windows has enshrined the dominance of x86. CPU makers can't compete on their merits, if they can't make x86 chips.

Of course, while SPARC and PowerPC and MIPS and Alpha and 680x0 never took the world by storm, ARM was able to get somewhere - but by carving out a new niche, in which it is dominant.

So the remedy to competition in the chip industry, barring x86 being taken from Intel, would be the government forcing Microsoft to move Windows to RISC-V and abandon the x86. That, of course, is hardly likely to happen.
Posted on Reply
#122
trparky
quadibloc, post: 4074107, member: 181913"
Given that Microsoft Windows needs an x86 to run on
That's only because of the need for backward compatibility with decades-old legacy applications. Take the need to support legacy applications out of the equation and suddenly x86 is no longer a requirement, ARM can be used instead. Most modern programs still have source available so yes, they can be compiled for ARM. Will it be painful at first? Yes, but it can be done.
Posted on Reply
#123
narble
TheLostSwede, post: 4070258, member: 3382"
Well, yes and no. They didn't become complacent in that sense, but rather, they believed they were so far ahead, so even though their first 10nm process was a mess, they thought they would have time to fix it, but alas... Hence why they started a second 10nm process, as we know. On top of that, they decided to focus on a million other things, like FPGAs, AI co-processors, GPUs, wireless data modems (3G/4G, but clearly 5G was another mess), IoT (another huge failure), mobile phone SoCs (failure), photonics and what not. This means that they somewhat lost focus on the CPU business, as it was only part of what Intel made. Then they got a huge order for 4G models (and an expected order for 5G modems) from Apple, due to them falling out with Qualcomm and this ate up a lot of their production capacity. In other words, it's not so much being complacent, as having too many different businesses that don't quite fit and which used up a lot of resources. If you take a good look, it's not hard to see why Intel are in their current position. Yes, some of their "new" businesses have helped them make more money, but at the same time, they've lost focus on the good old x86 CPU.
Definitely a strategic miss, but I think you'll find it was nothing more than a poor decision in favor of short-term profitability... Bean-counters overriding engineering decisions.

Take a look at the investment Intel made (and reversed) in ASML a few years ago. Those guys were the only ones delivering EUVL and it looked like Intel had shut out the other foundries by buying up all of ASML's upcoming production. Intel didn't just buy a big stake in ASML, they pre-ordered enough of the upcoming production to shut out Samsung and TSMC. Then what happened? I'm sure Intel insiders could comment on this, but it looks like Intel just decided they'd get along just fine without EUV.

Just look back a couple of years at TSMC's roadmap and the indications that Intel was bypassing extra-dense litho for low-end silicon (indicators here and here). I just keep wondering how Intel thought they were going to be able to continue the ramp-up to greater capacity per die without a clear path beyond DUV. Your 10mm plans are adorable, Intel.
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