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The great leveling

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Anonymous
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September 19, 2004 7:18:27 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

IBM has created a graphic showing the various Itanium sales forecasts over
the years, where every subsequent sales forecast shrinks lower and lower,
which can be called the "Great Leveling".

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/18/ibm_plots_idc_m...

Original IBM presentation:

http://202.113.29.200/Seminar/Sen-Ming%20Chang1.pdf

Yousuf Khan

--
Humans: contact me at ykhan at rogers dot com
Spambots: just reply to this email address ;-)

More about : great leveling

Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2004 12:25:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:
> IBM has created a graphic showing the various Itanium sales forecasts over
> the years, where every subsequent sales forecast shrinks lower and lower,
> which can be called the "Great Leveling".
>
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/18/ibm_plots_idc_m...
>
> Original IBM presentation:
>
> http://202.113.29.200/Seminar/Sen-Ming%20Chang1.pdf
>
> Yousuf Khan
>

Except this presentation doesn't reflect what intel said about Itanium,
it is what "analysts" at IDC printed. All it tells me is that IDC
hasn't done its homework researching market factors around Itanium and
is just throwing out numbers. The numbers always looked rediculous to
me. I'm not even sure there is that much money ($30B) to be had from
server sales, as predicted by IDC to be gained in a single year.
Especially as intel promisses price equity with x86 by 2007.

Alex
--
My words are my own. They represent no other; they belong to no other.
Don't read anything into them or you may be required to compensate me
for violation of copyright. (I do not speak for my employer.)
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2004 5:01:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

Alex Johnson wrote:
> Yousuf Khan wrote:
>
>> IBM has created a graphic showing the various Itanium sales forecasts
>> over the years, where every subsequent sales forecast shrinks lower
>> and lower, which can be called the "Great Leveling".
>>
>> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/18/ibm_plots_idc_m...
>>
>> Original IBM presentation:
>>
>> http://202.113.29.200/Seminar/Sen-Ming%20Chang1.pdf
>>

>
> Except this presentation doesn't reflect what intel said about Itanium,
> it is what "analysts" at IDC printed. All it tells me is that IDC
> hasn't done its homework researching market factors around Itanium and
> is just throwing out numbers. The numbers always looked rediculous to
> me. I'm not even sure there is that much money ($30B) to be had from
> server sales, as predicted by IDC to be gained in a single year.
> Especially as intel promisses price equity with x86 by 2007.
>

Vantage point is everything. IBM's Power is a really neat chip, but if
IBM wants it to be anything more than a loss leader, it needs to be rid
of Itanium as a serious threat. It's actually a losing battle, I
suspect. Even if Itanium really does disappear, Intel will simply shift
its focus to endowing x86 with the enterprise-ready features it needs to
compete at the high end.

As to analysts, the sales forecasts having been so useless in the past,
why would anyone take to believing them now?

RM
Related resources
Anonymous
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September 20, 2004 8:06:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

Alex Johnson wrote:
> Except this presentation doesn't reflect what intel said about
> Itanium, it is what "analysts" at IDC printed. All it tells me is
> that IDC hasn't done its homework researching market factors around
> Itanium and is just throwing out numbers. The numbers always looked
> rediculous to me. I'm not even sure there is that much money ($30B)
> to be had from server sales, as predicted by IDC to be gained in a
> single year. Especially as intel promisses price equity with x86 by
> 2007.

There was an interesting quote in there about IDC. IDC's forecasted numbers
missed by about 96% of the actual numbers. It can be said that a monkey
throwing feces at a sales chart should be able to get to within 90% of the
actual numbers. :-)

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2004 8:07:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

Robert Myers wrote:
> As to analysts, the sales forecasts having been so useless in the
> past, why would anyone take to believing them now?

Comedic relief?

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 21, 2004 1:11:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 08:25:02 -0400, Alex Johnson <compuwiz@jhu.edu>
wrote:
>
>Yousuf Khan wrote:
>> IBM has created a graphic showing the various Itanium sales forecasts over
>> the years, where every subsequent sales forecast shrinks lower and lower,
>> which can be called the "Great Leveling".
>>
>> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/18/ibm_plots_idc_m...
>>
>> Original IBM presentation:
>>
>> http://202.113.29.200/Seminar/Sen-Ming%20Chang1.pdf
>>
>> Yousuf Khan
>>
>
>Except this presentation doesn't reflect what intel said about Itanium,
>it is what "analysts" at IDC printed. All it tells me is that IDC
>hasn't done its homework researching market factors around Itanium and
>is just throwing out numbers. The numbers always looked rediculous to
>me. I'm not even sure there is that much money ($30B) to be had from
>server sales, as predicted by IDC to be gained in a single year.
>Especially as intel promisses price equity with x86 by 2007.

Just as a FWIW, this year there will probably be somewhere on the
order of $50B (+/- $5B) in total worldwide server sales.

If Itanium had reached it's original "one chip to rule them all" goal,
it might well have managed $30B in server sales for this year. Still,
I think you're right that the sales forecasts where always a shot in
the dark at best.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 21, 2004 4:10:12 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:

> Robert Myers wrote:
>
>>As to analysts, the sales forecasts having been so useless in the
>>past, why would anyone take to believing them now?
>
>
> Comedic relief?
>

[dropped comp.sys.intel so I don't get pulled over by the OT police]

I think analyst's estimates are a form of intellectual reinsurance
("Well, of course it's BS, but what else do you want me to rely on--my
own BS? My dart board?").

What do _you_ think Yousuf? Will Itanium die while Power and Sparc
survive? All three chips look more like expensive hobbies than
realistic business propositions (and a dart board looks really
attractive for predicting the future of that market segment).

RM
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 21, 2004 10:53:23 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
> What do _you_ think Yousuf? Will Itanium die while Power and Sparc
> survive? All three chips look more like expensive hobbies than
> realistic business propositions (and a dart board looks really
> attractive for predicting the future of that market segment).

Well, Power and Sparc both have large existing software bases, so whether
they are hobby chips or not, at least they are useful hobby chips.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 21, 2004 6:45:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:

> Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>>What do _you_ think Yousuf? Will Itanium die while Power and Sparc
>>survive? All three chips look more like expensive hobbies than
>>realistic business propositions (and a dart board looks really
>>attractive for predicting the future of that market segment).
>
>
> Well, Power and Sparc both have large existing software bases, so whether
> they are hobby chips or not, at least they are useful hobby chips.
>

I don't know how much the installed software base really has to do with
what's left of the target markets. IBM wants to protect its juicy slice
at the high end and others would like to grab a slice of it. I don't
_think_ x86 is plausible for that slot unless Intel decides it's going
to try to make it plausible (and, at that, I think it won't be easy).
So the question is, what chip(s) will play in that market, say, five
years from now.

Power is a nice chip, but it's a money-loser for IBM. Whether Power
goes or stays depends entirely on how critical IBM thinks it is to
protecting its high-end franchise.

Sparc's hold on life seems even more tenuous. You'll tell me why I'm
being silly for saying so, I'm sure, but I don't understand why Sun
doesn't see Solaris on Itanium as at least as attractive as its
capitulation to Microsoft.

That leaves Itanium, heavy baggage and all. Intel knows how to make
lots of chips cheap (or at least it did at one time). The story of the
industry for the last two decades has been lots of chips cheap. The
Sparc/Power market is the last holdout.

RM
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 3:45:12 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Robert Myers wrote:
>> Well, Power and Sparc both have large existing software bases, so
>> whether they are hobby chips or not, at least they are useful hobby
>> chips.
>
> I don't know how much the installed software base really has to do
> with what's left of the target markets. IBM wants to protect its
> juicy slice at the high end and others would like to grab a slice of
> it. I don't _think_ x86 is plausible for that slot unless Intel
> decides it's going to try to make it plausible (and, at that, I think
> it won't be easy). So the question is, what chip(s) will play in that
> market, say, five years from now.

Well, the last I heard Sparc/Solaris had something like 10,000 applications
ported to it. In some cases, Sparc was the only platform those applications
were ever ported to, not even a port for x86 anywhere in sight.

Don't know about IBM Power, but between AIX, OS/400 and all of the other
OSes that run on it (probably includes MacOS too), it's probably also got a
similar number of applications for it.

Then you have to factor in all of the countless custom inhouse apps that
people must've written for them over the years. Then you have to factor in
all of those custom inhouse apps for which people have lost the source code
for, and you now have instant processor lock-in.

> Power is a nice chip, but it's a money-loser for IBM. Whether Power
> goes or stays depends entirely on how critical IBM thinks it is to
> protecting its high-end franchise.

Well, IBM obviously thinks it's pretty damn important to them to keep that
franchise alive. The processor is only a small cost in those high-end
systems, it makes more money selling the systems and their related services
than they lose in the processor.

> Sparc's hold on life seems even more tenuous. You'll tell me why I'm
> being silly for saying so, I'm sure, but I don't understand why Sun
> doesn't see Solaris on Itanium as at least as attractive as its
> capitulation to Microsoft.

Sun may be ready to kill off its own implementation, UltraSparc, but it's
now ready to consolidate the market with the Fujitsu version, Sparc64. All
of the people with the lost source code will have to keep buying Sparcs for
a long long time.

At some point, eventually Opteron may account for more than 50% of Sun's
base, but until then Sparc has to be supported, it has no choice but to
support it. Sun can continue to support it through Sparc64 rather than
UltraSparc though.

> That leaves Itanium, heavy baggage and all. Intel knows how to make
> lots of chips cheap (or at least it did at one time). The story of
> the industry for the last two decades has been lots of chips cheap. The
> Sparc/Power market is the last holdout.

Well, one of the theories about why Intel is experiencing an inventory glut
right now is because it has an overcapacity right now. Intel has ten chip
plants, five of which are 300mm plants! One or two 300mm plants should be
enough to supply the world with all of the Pentiums and Xeons that they
need. So it looks like it may have built the three extra plants to supply
the world with its previously anticipated $30bn worth of Itaniums. Obviously
since that $30bn worth of Itanium orders hasn't materialized, it's now busy
trying to fill up the capacity of those extra plants with everything from
WiFi chipsets to HDTV chips. It's trying to create enough products to fill
up the capacity of its plants. I don't think even Intel has enough engineers
to spread around to such diverse engineering projects.

In fact, I think Intel is overlooking one of the commodities that it has
plenty of -- chip plants. It should start renting itself out to other
chipmakers to produce their chips, much like TSMC, UMC, Chartered, SMIC,
etc. I doubt they will do this, but it would fill up their plants.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 6:44:45 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 00:10:12 GMT, Robert Myers
<rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>Yousuf Khan wrote:
>
>> Robert Myers wrote:
>>
>>>As to analysts, the sales forecasts having been so useless in the
>>>past, why would anyone take to believing them now?
>>
>>
>> Comedic relief?
>>
>
>[dropped comp.sys.intel so I don't get pulled over by the OT police]
>
>I think analyst's estimates are a form of intellectual reinsurance
>("Well, of course it's BS, but what else do you want me to rely on--my
>own BS? My dart board?").
>
>What do _you_ think Yousuf? Will Itanium die while Power and Sparc
>survive? All three chips look more like expensive hobbies than
>realistic business propositions (and a dart board looks really
>attractive for predicting the future of that market segment).

My personal dart board has both Itanium and SPARC dying out in the
not-too-distant future, at least for the high-end of things (legacy
support will of course continue for quite some time). Really I only
see a bright future for three processor ISAs: x86, PowerPC and ARM.

While Power at the high-end might not be a good money-making venture,
the ISA in general has some pretty good support throughout various
market segments. In particular it seems to be doing very well in the
console market and the high-end of the embedded market. At the
top-end with the Power servers it might not make much money, but it
helps push the development for the more profitable chips further down
the line.

ARM, of course, is probably the top selling ISA out there these days
(with the possible exception of some really low-end/low-cost stuff
like 6805 or 8051), and it will probably continue doing well on the
really low-power front.

x86, meanwhile, seems likely to continue dominating the desktop and
workstation market for the foreseeable future while constantly taking
away server marketshare from the traditional big-iron machines.

At least.. that's how I see things going. Now, if you don't mind
stepping aside, I have a few more darts to throw :>

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 11:47:58 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:

>Power is a nice chip, but it's a money-loser for IBM. Whether Power
>goes or stays depends entirely on how critical IBM thinks it is to
>protecting its high-end franchise.

Is it really losing money, when you factor-in the spin-offs to the
embedded world, such as video-game consoles?

Looks to me like IBM is in a great position with Power, to take up
most of the 64-bit market (after X86-64 takes it's piece of the pie,
of course).

>Sparc's hold on life seems even more tenuous. You'll tell me why I'm
>being silly for saying so, I'm sure, but I don't understand why Sun
>doesn't see Solaris on Itanium as at least as attractive as its
>capitulation to Microsoft.

Sparc's days are numbered, no doubt in my mind.

>That leaves Itanium, heavy baggage and all. Intel knows how to make
>lots of chips cheap (or at least it did at one time). The story of the
>industry for the last two decades has been lots of chips cheap. The
>Sparc/Power market is the last holdout.

Doesn't look too good for Itanic right now. I suppose if Intel
continues to infuse money into the program, they can keep it alive
long enough to evolve it into something competitive. We'll see.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 11:59:12 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

"Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:

>Well, one of the theories about why Intel is experiencing an inventory glut
>right now is because it has an overcapacity right now. Intel has ten chip
>plants, five of which are 300mm plants! One or two 300mm plants should be
>enough to supply the world with all of the Pentiums and Xeons that they
>need. So it looks like it may have built the three extra plants to supply
>the world with its previously anticipated $30bn worth of Itaniums.

I doubt that theory. They've known for years (possibly all along)
that Itanic was not going to take the world by storm. Certainly,
since the Rambus debacle, they have known that they can't force
whatever they want onto a resistant market.

Over- and under-capacity situations are simply life as usual in the
semiconductor industry, where you have to plan-for and build fabs,
years before expected demand for your product. A lot can happen in
those years.

>Obviously
>since that $30bn worth of Itanium orders hasn't materialized, it's now busy
>trying to fill up the capacity of those extra plants with everything from
>WiFi chipsets to HDTV chips. It's trying to create enough products to fill
>up the capacity of its plants. I don't think even Intel has enough engineers
>to spread around to such diverse engineering projects.

Of course Intel would like to use some of their CPU bounty to expand
into other markets and grow the business. I'm not convinced that
their product proliferation implies that they are desperate to fill
excess manufacturing capacity.

>In fact, I think Intel is overlooking one of the commodities that it has
>plenty of -- chip plants. It should start renting itself out to other
>chipmakers to produce their chips, much like TSMC, UMC, Chartered, SMIC,
>etc. I doubt they will do this, but it would fill up their plants.

I'm certain it's crossed their minds, and if they're not doing it,
it's for a good reason (like the profit margins aren't high enough).
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 5:18:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:

> Robert Myers wrote:
>

<snip>

>
> Then you have to factor in all of the countless custom inhouse apps that
> people must've written for them over the years. Then you have to factor in
> all of those custom inhouse apps for which people have lost the source code
> for, and you now have instant processor lock-in.
>

Lock-in is dead. Even IBM admits it. The day of mainframe on Unix is
here to stay. People buy the high end hardware because they want the
extra insurance of reliability built into the hardware. The easiest way
to get that reliability is still to buy IBM, but it's not the only way.

How all this works with Sun? I put Sun's dog and pony show to the
financial sector on while I was doing other things yesterday. I haven't
heard so much upspin since the days of high school pep rallies. If
their apps were so locked in, I don't think they'd sound so eager.

<snip>

>
>>That leaves Itanium, heavy baggage and all. Intel knows how to make
>>lots of chips cheap (or at least it did at one time). The story of
>>the industry for the last two decades has been lots of chips cheap. The
>>Sparc/Power market is the last holdout.
>
>
> Well, one of the theories about why Intel is experiencing an inventory glut
> right now is because it has an overcapacity right now. Intel has ten chip
> plants, five of which are 300mm plants! One or two 300mm plants should be
> enough to supply the world with all of the Pentiums and Xeons that they
> need. So it looks like it may have built the three extra plants to supply
> the world with its previously anticipated $30bn worth of Itaniums. Obviously
> since that $30bn worth of Itanium orders hasn't materialized, it's now busy
> trying to fill up the capacity of those extra plants with everything from
> WiFi chipsets to HDTV chips. It's trying to create enough products to fill
> up the capacity of its plants. I don't think even Intel has enough engineers
> to spread around to such diverse engineering projects.
>
> In fact, I think Intel is overlooking one of the commodities that it has
> plenty of -- chip plants. It should start renting itself out to other
> chipmakers to produce their chips, much like TSMC, UMC, Chartered, SMIC,
> etc. I doubt they will do this, but it would fill up their plants.
>

That would all put a strong SELL on Intel, I think. It would be like
betting against the Yankees or the Green Bay Packers in the days of
Vince Lombardi.

RM
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 5:40:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

chrisv wrote:
> I doubt that theory. They've known for years (possibly all along)
> that Itanic was not going to take the world by storm. Certainly,
> since the Rambus debacle, they have known that they can't force
> whatever they want onto a resistant market.

Well, knowing about it is one thing, admitting to it is another.

> Over- and under-capacity situations are simply life as usual in the
> semiconductor industry, where you have to plan-for and build fabs,
> years before expected demand for your product. A lot can happen in
> those years.

Yes, things such as their current overcapacity.

>> Obviously
>> since that $30bn worth of Itanium orders hasn't materialized, it's
>> now busy trying to fill up the capacity of those extra plants with
>> everything from WiFi chipsets to HDTV chips. It's trying to create
>> enough products to fill up the capacity of its plants. I don't think
>> even Intel has enough engineers to spread around to such diverse
>> engineering projects.
>
> Of course Intel would like to use some of their CPU bounty to expand
> into other markets and grow the business. I'm not convinced that
> their product proliferation implies that they are desperate to fill
> excess manufacturing capacity.

The WiFi chips I can understand, they have a support relationship to their
existing core business (CPUs). HDTV is another thing altogether.

Intel seems to have a history of flailing about when it comes to selling
products outside of its core business. It starts a business and then just as
abruptly kills them. Remember those home networking gear it used to sell at
one time? Also the webcams?

>> In fact, I think Intel is overlooking one of the commodities that it
>> has plenty of -- chip plants. It should start renting itself out to
>> other chipmakers to produce their chips, much like TSMC, UMC,
>> Chartered, SMIC, etc. I doubt they will do this, but it would fill
>> up their plants.
>
> I'm certain it's crossed their minds, and if they're not doing it,
> it's for a good reason (like the profit margins aren't high enough).

Or it may be worried that people would think that the reason it is producing
chips for other companies is because it can't fill up those fabs itself.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 5:52:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Robert Myers wrote:
> How all this works with Sun? I put Sun's dog and pony show to the
> financial sector on while I was doing other things yesterday. I
> haven't heard so much upspin since the days of high school pep
> rallies. If their apps were so locked in, I don't think they'd sound
> so eager.

Well, you can't run your business simply relying on lock-in customers. The
lock-ins will produce a steady state of income, but not enough to run your
business on.

> That would all put a strong SELL on Intel, I think. It would be like
> betting against the Yankees or the Green Bay Packers in the days of
> Vince Lombardi.

My thoughts too. If Intel were to announce that it has the capacity to build
other people's chips, then Wall Street would wonder why it doesn't fill up
all of those chip fabs with its own production?

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 6:11:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

chrisv wrote:

> Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>
>>Power is a nice chip, but it's a money-loser for IBM. Whether Power
>>goes or stays depends entirely on how critical IBM thinks it is to
>>protecting its high-end franchise.
>
>
> Is it really losing money, when you factor-in the spin-offs to the
> embedded world, such as video-game consoles?
>
> Looks to me like IBM is in a great position with Power, to take up
> most of the 64-bit market (after X86-64 takes it's piece of the pie,
> of course).
>

That assumes that IBM can profitably market Power as a volume chip. I
infer that it can't. Don't expect an audit of IBM to reveal what IBM
really thinks Power costs, but the relationship with Apple seems to be a
troubled one, and IBM has consolidated Microelectronics (which had a
streak of losing money) with other business units.

IBM may not be making the decisions it is making for the reasons I am
inferring, but my guesses do pass the laugh test, at least. Turn the
equation around: IBM has put up some really impressive performance
numbers for Power and Apple has a solid, if limited, franchise. What
would Intel do in a situation like that? It would flog the living
daylights out of the chip, that's what. Not IBM's style? Maybe not,
but they're in business to make money, and, if Power were such a strong
player, IBM would be playing it much more surehandedly.

RM
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 6:33:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

"Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:

>chrisv wrote:
>> I doubt that theory. They've known for years (possibly all along)
>> that Itanic was not going to take the world by storm. Certainly,
>> since the Rambus debacle, they have known that they can't force
>> whatever they want onto a resistant market.
>
>Well, knowing about it is one thing, admitting to it is another.

The nature of their business is that they can't admit anything. If
they were to show any lack of confidence in Itanic's viability, it
would certainly be a self-fulfilling prophecy of it's death.

>> Of course Intel would like to use some of their CPU bounty to expand
>> into other markets and grow the business. I'm not convinced that
>> their product proliferation implies that they are desperate to fill
>> excess manufacturing capacity.
>
>The WiFi chips I can understand, they have a support relationship to their
>existing core business (CPUs). HDTV is another thing altogether.
>
>Intel seems to have a history of flailing about when it comes to selling
>products outside of its core business. It starts a business and then just as
>abruptly kills them. Remember those home networking gear it used to sell at
>one time? Also the webcams?

The "flailing about" is extremely typical of companies who have had a
very successful "cash cow" product, and then go looking for similar
success in other markets. It's not easy. Intel is fortunate that
their cash cow is still giving plenty of milk.

>>> In fact, I think Intel is overlooking one of the commodities that it
>>> has plenty of -- chip plants. It should start renting itself out to
>>> other chipmakers to produce their chips, much like TSMC, UMC,
>>> Chartered, SMIC, etc. I doubt they will do this, but it would fill
>>> up their plants.
>>
>> I'm certain it's crossed their minds, and if they're not doing it,
>> it's for a good reason (like the profit margins aren't high enough).
>
>Or it may be worried that people would think that the reason it is producing
>chips for other companies is because it can't fill up those fabs itself.

I don't know. Their balance sheet is a matter of public record. What
matters is the bottom line, and they're doing quite well, despite the
economic recession.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 22, 2004 10:28:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:
> Well, you can't run your business simply relying on lock-in
> customers. The lock-ins will produce a steady state of
> income, but not enough to run your business on.

Really? Do you think Microsoft isn't running profitably?
They currently have a lock-in on PC operating systems.

-- Robert
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 23, 2004 12:33:36 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Robert Redelmeier wrote:
> Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:
>> Well, you can't run your business simply relying on lock-in
>> customers. The lock-ins will produce a steady state of
>> income, but not enough to run your business on.
>
> Really? Do you think Microsoft isn't running profitably?
> They currently have a lock-in on PC operating systems.

Yup, you're right, totally forgot about that lock-in showcase. I was
thinking more along the lines of "normal" companies like IBM or Sun, etc.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 23, 2004 12:42:15 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

chrisv wrote:
>> Well, knowing about it is one thing, admitting to it is another.
>
> The nature of their business is that they can't admit anything. If
> they were to show any lack of confidence in Itanic's viability, it
> would certainly be a self-fulfilling prophecy of it's death.

But it's also often the case that if you can't admit something externally,
it's likely you're not admitting the same thing internally; you're not
admitting something to yourself. It strengthens your own case if you believe
it yourself. But that could also lead to unrealistic expectations, which can
lead to not doing things to fix your problems properly.

> The "flailing about" is extremely typical of companies who have had a
> very successful "cash cow" product, and then go looking for similar
> success in other markets. It's not easy. Intel is fortunate that
> their cash cow is still giving plenty of milk.

Yes.

> I don't know. Their balance sheet is a matter of public record. What
> matters is the bottom line, and they're doing quite well, despite the
> economic recession.

Wall Street seems to be worrying right now about whether this is going to
last much longer. They don't just look at the bottom line, they look at the
trends behind the bottom line too.

Yousuf Khan
September 23, 2004 4:02:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 02:44:45 -0400, Tony Hill wrote:

> On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 00:10:12 GMT, Robert Myers
> <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
>>
>>Yousuf Khan wrote:
>>
>>> Robert Myers wrote:
>>>
>>>>As to analysts, the sales forecasts having been so useless in the
>>>>past, why would anyone take to believing them now?
>>>
>>>
>>> Comedic relief?
>>>
>>
>>[dropped comp.sys.intel so I don't get pulled over by the OT police]
>>
>>I think analyst's estimates are a form of intellectual reinsurance
>>("Well, of course it's BS, but what else do you want me to rely on--my
>>own BS? My dart board?").
>>
>>What do _you_ think Yousuf? Will Itanium die while Power and Sparc
>>survive? All three chips look more like expensive hobbies than
>>realistic business propositions (and a dart board looks really
>>attractive for predicting the future of that market segment).
>
> My personal dart board has both Itanium and SPARC dying out in the
> not-too-distant future, at least for the high-end of things (legacy
> support will of course continue for quite some time). Really I only
> see a bright future for three processor ISAs: x86, PowerPC and ARM.

No comment. ;-]
>
> While Power at the high-end might not be a good money-making venture,
> the ISA in general has some pretty good support throughout various
> market segments. In particular it seems to be doing very well in the
> console market and the high-end of the embedded market. At the
> top-end with the Power servers it might not make much money, but it
> helps push the development for the more profitable chips further down
> the line.
>
> ARM, of course, is probably the top selling ISA out there these days
> (with the possible exception of some really low-end/low-cost stuff
> like 6805 or 8051), and it will probably continue doing well on the
> really low-power front.

ARM isn't low-cost? 8051 isn't low cost? I guess PICs aren't "low cost"
either then. ;-) I think you'll find rather a large number of PICs (and
8051s) out there. ;-)

> x86, meanwhile, seems likely to continue dominating the desktop and
> workstation market for the foreseeable future while constantly taking
> away server marketshare from the traditional big-iron machines.

I don't see x86 dominating the "workstation market" today. I think it
easily could, but I don't see it today.

> At least.. that's how I see things going. Now, if you don't mind
> stepping aside, I have a few more darts to throw :>

....never stand in the way of a Canuckistani with sharp weapons.
^
+-- see: even I can learn how to speel.

--
Keith
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 23, 2004 4:36:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:02:54 -0400, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
>
>On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 02:44:45 -0400, Tony Hill wrote:
>> ARM, of course, is probably the top selling ISA out there these days
>> (with the possible exception of some really low-end/low-cost stuff
>> like 6805 or 8051), and it will probably continue doing well on the
>> really low-power front.
>
>ARM isn't low-cost? 8051 isn't low cost? I guess PICs aren't "low cost"
>either then. ;-) I think you'll find rather a large number of PICs (and
>8051s) out there. ;-)

Err, unless my eyes are deceiving me, I mentioned that 6805 and 8051
ARE the "really low-end/low-cost" stuff. PIC falls into this category
as well, even if the top-end PIC chips cost $20-$30 in volume.

>> x86, meanwhile, seems likely to continue dominating the desktop and
>> workstation market for the foreseeable future while constantly taking
>> away server marketshare from the traditional big-iron machines.
>
>I don't see x86 dominating the "workstation market" today. I think it
>easily could, but I don't see it today.

I'd say that it does, with the possible exception of certain high-end
niche markets. Certainly there are still 64-bit Unix workstations
being sold, but almost all of those are being abandoned. Sun is
hurting in this market badly, SGI is getting out of it altogether and
HPaq is doing the same with their PA-RISC and Alpha lines. I suppose
there still are HP's Itanium workstations, but from what I've seen
they aren't exactly racking up record sales by any stretch. That
pretty much leaves IBM's Power workstations as the last bastion of
new, high-end Unix workstations.

Of course, I guess a lot of this depends on just how you classify
"workstation" vs. "desktop". Depending on that classification the
exact marketshare for any one ISA could vary greatly.

>> At least.. that's how I see things going. Now, if you don't mind
>> stepping aside, I have a few more darts to throw :>
>
>...never stand in the way of a Canuckistani with sharp weapons.
> ^
> +-- see: even I can learn how to speel.

And don't you forget it!

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 23, 2004 4:36:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 07:59:12 -0500, chrisv <chrisv@nospam.invalid>
wrote:
>
>"Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:
>
>>In fact, I think Intel is overlooking one of the commodities that it has
>>plenty of -- chip plants. It should start renting itself out to other
>>chipmakers to produce their chips, much like TSMC, UMC, Chartered, SMIC,
>>etc. I doubt they will do this, but it would fill up their plants.
>
>I'm certain it's crossed their minds, and if they're not doing it,
>it's for a good reason (like the profit margins aren't high enough).

Another thing to think of is that Intel has such a varied product line
up that, no matter what they were asked to produce, Intel would
probably already have their own competing product. Now for some
companies this would not be a problem, but Intel does NOT play nice
with others. They've never really been a company that was good at
partnerships and alliances beyond the "We design and build it, you
sell it" sort of thing.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 23, 2004 4:40:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

George Macdonald wrote:

> On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 13:02:54 GMT, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
>
>>George Macdonald wrote:
>

<snip>

>
> IBM sold Power 440 IP? Are you talking about the AMCC deal? Didn't look
> like an outright sale to me - just a license of some IP with a takeover of
> some responsibility for logistics & marketing.

<quote>

http://www.siliconstrategies.com/article/showArticle.jh...

IBM to sell PowerPC line to AMCC for $227 million (Updated)

Silicon Strategies
04/13/2004, 8:35 AM ET

SAN DIEGO--Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) on Tuesday (April 13)
announced a plan to acquire intellectual property and the assets
associated with IBM Corp.'s 400 series of embedded PowerPC standard
products for about $227 million in cash.

AMCC has also taken a license for IBM's Power Architecture. IBM will
continue to manufacture the PowerPC products for AMCC. The agreement
also provides AMCC with access to IBM's advanced CMOS process and
systems-on-a-chip (SoC) design methodology.

</quote>

The fact that there are underlying required licencses associated with
the Power architecture is an important detail (just ask anybody who has
a Unix source code license), but short of IBM completely divesting
itself of the Power architecture, I don't see how much more of an
outright sale the deal could have been.

> I don't think their picture
> is anywhere as bleak as you paint it and I don't see, with the IBM
> infrastructure, why a processor group would have to show a profit on its
> own.
>

"Bleak" is a pretty loaded word.

Power _doesn't_ have to show a profit on its own, and it could continue
indefinitely as the copestone of IBM's high end strategy. IBM has
really gotten smart about open source, and maybe it will be able to
sustain critical mass for Power with it's low-end Linux-only boxes. Or
maybe it won't.

<snip>

> As for Alpha, surely the cost of making the chip could have been fixed -
> the fab was ancient by the time Intel agreed to take it over.

Who knows? Probably compared to the cost of what has actually happened
with Itanium, doing whatever needed to be done to bring Alpha completely
into the Intel juggernaut would seem to be a bargain in retrospect. It
probably didn't look that way at the time the decision was made.

Chipmaking has to involve alchemy. What costs are immutable and what
costs are not and how are those costs tied to design? Like I would have
a clue.

<snip>

>>>So will we end up with just x86-64 and ARM as *the* computer
>>>architectures to choose from?
>>
>>Aside from the embedded market, maybe.
>
>
> I thought ARM *is* the embedded market or are you thinking of the bottom
> end of it more?
>

John Mashey has recently mentioned both the embedded market and
Tensilica more than once as examples of interesting action in computer
architecture, and there are some really hot network processors that have
appeared recently. I don't know what end that is, but I don't think any
of those processors have an ARM heritage.

>
>>The problem (as always, from my limited perspective) is that none of the
>>revolutions in microprocessor design have really been revolutions in the
>>sense that they answered questions there was a big payoff for anwering.
>> Intel thought IA64 was a revolution that answered an important
>>question (how to get significant parallelism without recoding
>>everything), but other architectures have been just about as successful
>>(or unsuccessful) in achieving the same goal.
>>
>>It's not as if there were no important questions worth asking--latency
>>tolerance, moving data around as the virtual real estate gets larger,
>>and, of course, power consumption--come to mind, but the demand drivers
>>just aren't big enough to drive a real revolution. Maybe if (say)
>>google succeeds in its plans for world domination and needs a real low
>>power revolution the way HPC needs a low power revolution.
>
>
> Revolutions are rare and I don't see why they'd be necessary as a sign of
> success. Steady progress with the odd discontinuity works fine for me.:-)
>

You and Keith, except that I think, given the choice, Keith would
dispense with the odd discontinuity.

How many revolutions are at play here? Automatic computation, c. WWII.
The transistor, 1947. Integrated circuits, 1957. The microprocessor,
c. 1970. The personal computer, (as a real revolution, 1977-1981,
giving the Apple II and the IBM PC a tie). I think we're overdue.

>
>>>What will the Chinese do?... do they
>>>matter?<shrug>
>>
>>Of course they matter, but not soon enough for any but the most foolish
>>to speculate how.
>
>
> So far they're showing signs of going in the wrong direction - unique
> national standards for wireless could be just the start of something bigger
> and more destructive... their version of "playing by the rules"?? It's
> hardly a homogeneous culture so, with increased awareness of freedoms
> enjoyed elsewhere, I expect lots of Chechnya type unrest and attempted
> devolutions in the future. Many in the West who fear them economically
> make the mistake of regarding them as a monolithic society - IMO no where
> near as dangerous as they are painted.

Fortune magazine has a new article on Intel in China and on the
potential competitive threat from a Chinese semiconductor industry
(available on the net, but only with a subscription). The Chinese
apparently already have a home-grown chip that would compete with the
Pentium II.

The bigger picture for China over the longer haul? I have the same
skepticism you do: big, unwieldy society with adolescent ambition and
tremendous infrastructure problems.

RM
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 23, 2004 4:40:08 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:

>The bigger picture for China over the longer haul? I have the same
>skepticism you do: big, unwieldy society with adolescent ambition and
>tremendous infrastructure problems.

Maybe, but when the "adolescent" weighs 4 times as much as you do, he
doesn't have to be "better" than you to kick your ass, and it's going
to be a loooong time before the costs of making things there approach
the costs of making things in the Western world... They can just
throw (inexpensive) people at all of their problems.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 24, 2004 12:13:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Tony Hill wrote:
> Another thing to think of is that Intel has such a varied product line
> up that, no matter what they were asked to produce, Intel would
> probably already have their own competing product. Now for some
> companies this would not be a problem, but Intel does NOT play nice
> with others. They've never really been a company that was good at
> partnerships and alliances beyond the "We design and build it, you
> sell it" sort of thing.

This would be what would prevent Intel from getting a lot of business from
other semi mfgs, if Intel were to set itself up as a contract fabber. Too
many enemies which it would need to convert into customers. For some of
them, it's bridges might already be irretrievably burned.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 24, 2004 11:44:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 12:40:07 GMT, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
wrote:

>George Macdonald wrote:
>
>> On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 13:02:54 GMT, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>George Macdonald wrote:
>>
>
><snip>
>
>>
>> IBM sold Power 440 IP? Are you talking about the AMCC deal? Didn't look
>> like an outright sale to me - just a license of some IP with a takeover of
>> some responsibility for logistics & marketing.
>
><quote>
>
>http://www.siliconstrategies.com/article/showArticle.jh...
>
>IBM to sell PowerPC line to AMCC for $227 million (Updated)
>
>Silicon Strategies
>04/13/2004, 8:35 AM ET
>
>SAN DIEGO--Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) on Tuesday (April 13)
>announced a plan to acquire intellectual property and the assets
>associated with IBM Corp.'s 400 series of embedded PowerPC standard
>products for about $227 million in cash.
>
>AMCC has also taken a license for IBM's Power Architecture. IBM will
>continue to manufacture the PowerPC products for AMCC. The agreement
>also provides AMCC with access to IBM's advanced CMOS process and
>systems-on-a-chip (SoC) design methodology.
>
></quote>

In this article the same day:
http://www.reed-electronics.com/electronicnews/article/...
the headline is "IBM Adds AMCC to Power Everywhere Lineup" - same $227M but
a different angle on the same story. It also says "to license IBM
intellectual property and acquire a *portion* of IBM's 400 series of
embedded PowerPC standard products." I'd say, from this perspective, this
looks more like an announcement of a partnership with investment by the new
partner.

>The fact that there are underlying required licencses associated with
>the Power architecture is an important detail (just ask anybody who has
>a Unix source code license), but short of IBM completely divesting
>itself of the Power architecture, I don't see how much more of an
>outright sale the deal could have been.

Looks different to me.<shrug>

>> I don't think their picture
>> is anywhere as bleak as you paint it and I don't see, with the IBM
>> infrastructure, why a processor group would have to show a profit on its
>> own.
>>
>
>"Bleak" is a pretty loaded word.
>
>Power _doesn't_ have to show a profit on its own, and it could continue
>indefinitely as the copestone of IBM's high end strategy. IBM has
>really gotten smart about open source, and maybe it will be able to
>sustain critical mass for Power with it's low-end Linux-only boxes. Or
>maybe it won't.

But if it brings in services deals, who cares? I'm not sure what the
current situation is but just a coupla years back there were several *big*
corps who backed off on their "distributed server" initiatives and
recommitted to a "big iron" strategy. There's a certain comfort in having
a centralized computing glass house. Quite honestly I don't know how any
corp manages to run a corporate computing environment based on distributed
Windows 2K/2003 Servers - it's a bleedin' nightmare... plug 'n' play, point
'n click?... yeah RIGHT.

<<snip>>

>>>The problem (as always, from my limited perspective) is that none of the
>>>revolutions in microprocessor design have really been revolutions in the
>>>sense that they answered questions there was a big payoff for anwering.
>>> Intel thought IA64 was a revolution that answered an important
>>>question (how to get significant parallelism without recoding
>>>everything), but other architectures have been just about as successful
>>>(or unsuccessful) in achieving the same goal.
>>>
>>>It's not as if there were no important questions worth asking--latency
>>>tolerance, moving data around as the virtual real estate gets larger,
>>>and, of course, power consumption--come to mind, but the demand drivers
>>>just aren't big enough to drive a real revolution. Maybe if (say)
>>>google succeeds in its plans for world domination and needs a real low
>>>power revolution the way HPC needs a low power revolution.
>>
>>
>> Revolutions are rare and I don't see why they'd be necessary as a sign of
>> success. Steady progress with the odd discontinuity works fine for me.:-)
>>
>
>You and Keith, except that I think, given the choice, Keith would
>dispense with the odd discontinuity.
>
>How many revolutions are at play here? Automatic computation, c. WWII.
> The transistor, 1947. Integrated circuits, 1957. The microprocessor,
>c. 1970. The personal computer, (as a real revolution, 1977-1981,
>giving the Apple II and the IBM PC a tie). I think we're overdue.

From my POV, Apple was insignificant in the corporate sphere... and it took
a while for even the PC to gain real trust, creative P.O.s
notwithstanding.:-) Miniaturisation is great but other than
that....bah!... convenient but certainly not a quantum jump.

>>
>>>>What will the Chinese do?... do they
>>>>matter?<shrug>
>>>
>>>Of course they matter, but not soon enough for any but the most foolish
>>>to speculate how.
>>
>>
>> So far they're showing signs of going in the wrong direction - unique
>> national standards for wireless could be just the start of something bigger
>> and more destructive... their version of "playing by the rules"?? It's
>> hardly a homogeneous culture so, with increased awareness of freedoms
>> enjoyed elsewhere, I expect lots of Chechnya type unrest and attempted
>> devolutions in the future. Many in the West who fear them economically
>> make the mistake of regarding them as a monolithic society - IMO no where
>> near as dangerous as they are painted.
>
>Fortune magazine has a new article on Intel in China and on the
>potential competitive threat from a Chinese semiconductor industry
>(available on the net, but only with a subscription). The Chinese
>apparently already have a home-grown chip that would compete with the
>Pentium II.

I believe they've had that chip, or some development on it, for a couple of
years now - not really going anywhere fast. I'm sure they can do it but if
it's an indigeneous only solution, it's of little interest to me... unless
they arrive at something which fits your "revolution" criteria.:-) If they
think they can unilaterally carve out new standards to avoid licensing IP,
e.g. on connectivity, and turn around and impose them on the rest of the
world, they are in for some serious realignments of strategy.

>The bigger picture for China over the longer haul? I have the same
>skepticism you do: big, unwieldy society with adolescent ambition and
>tremendous infrastructure problems.

They're already building suburban executive "residential parks" with themes
based on a few major western up-market "dormitories" - can't remember the
exact ones but they've cadged a design layout which resembles some toney
inner London area... and one from NY IIRC. When the peons get a glimpse of
how the other half lives - watching the Lexus, Cadillacs and BMWs sweep
past as they hack a piece off the lump of coal in the street to keep them
warm for the night - who knows... could bring back the little red books and
a "cultural revolution"... again.

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 25, 2004 5:06:58 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

George Macdonald wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 12:40:07 GMT, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
> wrote:
>
>>George Macdonald wrote:
>>
>>
>>>IBM sold Power 440 IP? Are you talking about the AMCC deal? Didn't look
>>>like an outright sale to me - just a license of some IP with a takeover of
>>>some responsibility for logistics & marketing.
>>
>><quote>
>>
>>http://www.siliconstrategies.com/article/showArticle.jh...
>>
>>IBM to sell PowerPC line to AMCC for $227 million (Updated)
>>
>>Silicon Strategies
>>04/13/2004, 8:35 AM ET
>>
>>SAN DIEGO--Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) on Tuesday (April 13)
>>announced a plan to acquire intellectual property and the assets
>>associated with IBM Corp.'s 400 series of embedded PowerPC standard
>>products for about $227 million in cash.
>>
>>AMCC has also taken a license for IBM's Power Architecture. IBM will
>>continue to manufacture the PowerPC products for AMCC. The agreement
>>also provides AMCC with access to IBM's advanced CMOS process and
>>systems-on-a-chip (SoC) design methodology.
>>
>></quote>
>
>
> In this article the same day:
> http://www.reed-electronics.com/electronicnews/article/...
> the headline is "IBM Adds AMCC to Power Everywhere Lineup" - same $227M but
> a different angle on the same story. It also says "to license IBM
> intellectual property and acquire a *portion* of IBM's 400 series of
> embedded PowerPC standard products." I'd say, from this perspective, this
> looks more like an announcement of a partnership with investment by the new
> partner.
>

The Reed Electronics article does read quite differently. I knew I'd
live to regret getting all my education in trade schools. Can't guess
which is the more accurate rendering.

<snip>

>>
>>Power _doesn't_ have to show a profit on its own, and it could continue
>>indefinitely as the copestone of IBM's high end strategy. IBM has
>>really gotten smart about open source, and maybe it will be able to
>>sustain critical mass for Power with it's low-end Linux-only boxes. Or
>>maybe it won't.
>
>
> But if it brings in services deals, who cares? I'm not sure what the
> current situation is but just a coupla years back there were several *big*
> corps who backed off on their "distributed server" initiatives and
> recommitted to a "big iron" strategy. There's a certain comfort in having
> a centralized computing glass house. Quite honestly I don't know how any
> corp manages to run a corporate computing environment based on distributed
> Windows 2K/2003 Servers - it's a bleedin' nightmare... plug 'n' play, point
> 'n click?... yeah RIGHT.
>

Check this out:

http://www.platform-solutions.com/docs/S2887rha.final.p...

<snip>

>
> From my POV, Apple was insignificant in the corporate sphere... and it took
> a while for even the PC to gain real trust, creative P.O.s
> notwithstanding.:-) Miniaturisation is great but other than
> that....bah!... convenient but certainly not a quantum jump.
>

This is a bit of history I wouldn't have to count on google to find for
me...if only the details (like who and where) weren't so fuzzy in my
mind. It was, in any case, one of the principals to the story who
reported that "I (He) told him (me) that it [Visi-Calc] would sell if it
would run on the Apple II." The link between the success of the Apple
II and VisiCalc is a commonplace of computer legend, even without my
foggy memory.

_That_ makes a revolution? Well, yes. For a few thousand dollars, you
could buy a machine that, in many cases, would pay for itself quickly
merely by doing the monthly budget projections. It took only one
demonstration to sell just about anybody who had ever had to do a page
of numbers that had to add up as rows and columns. And that _was_ the
basis of the PC revolution. And that _was_ a revolution.

Nobody bitched that I left out the IBM 360.

RM
September 25, 2004 4:24:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:36:22 -0400, Tony Hill wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:02:54 -0400, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
>>
>>On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 02:44:45 -0400, Tony Hill wrote:
>>> ARM, of course, is probably the top selling ISA out there these days
>>> (with the possible exception of some really low-end/low-cost stuff
>>> like 6805 or 8051), and it will probably continue doing well on the
>>> really low-power front.
>>
>>ARM isn't low-cost? 8051 isn't low cost? I guess PICs aren't "low cost"
>>either then. ;-) I think you'll find rather a large number of PICs (and
>>8051s) out there. ;-)
>
> Err, unless my eyes are deceiving me, I mentioned that 6805 and 8051
> ARE the "really low-end/low-cost" stuff. PIC falls into this category
> as well, even if the top-end PIC chips cost $20-$30 in volume.

You didn't mention PIC as a "top selling ISA", but did ARM. ...then went
on to name 8051 and 6805. I'd venture to say there are far more PICs and
8051s (Billions and Billions) served than ARMs.
>
>>> x86, meanwhile, seems likely to continue dominating the desktop and
>>> workstation market for the foreseeable future while constantly taking
>>> away server marketshare from the traditional big-iron machines.
>>
>>I don't see x86 dominating the "workstation market" today. I think it
>>easily could, but I don't see it today.
>
> I'd say that it does, with the possible exception of certain high-end
> niche markets. Certainly there are still 64-bit Unix workstations being
> sold, but almost all of those are being abandoned. Sun is hurting in
> this market badly, SGI is getting out of it altogether and HPaq is doing
> the same with their PA-RISC and Alpha lines. I suppose there still are
> HP's Itanium workstations, but from what I've seen they aren't exactly
> racking up record sales by any stretch. That pretty much leaves IBM's
> Power workstations as the last bastion of new, high-end Unix
> workstations.

It looks like that's where thigns are headed, but today there are still
boatloads of Unix "workstations" around.
>
> Of course, I guess a lot of this depends on just how you classify
> "workstation" vs. "desktop". Depending on that classification the exact
> marketshare for any one ISA could vary greatly.

Yes, I guess we're going to have to define "workstation" again (though I
don't think this group has ever agreed on what constitutes a
"workstation").
>
>>> At least.. that's how I see things going. Now, if you don't mind
>>> stepping aside, I have a few more darts to throw :>
>>
>>...never stand in the way of a Canuckistani with sharp weapons.
>> ^
>> +-- see: even I can learn how to
>> speel.
>
> And don't you forget it!

"Stand in the way", or spell? ;-)

--
Keith
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 26, 2004 4:25:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 12:24:12 -0400, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
>
>On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:36:22 -0400, Tony Hill wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 00:02:54 -0400, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
>>>
>>>ARM isn't low-cost? 8051 isn't low cost? I guess PICs aren't "low cost"
>>>either then. ;-) I think you'll find rather a large number of PICs (and
>>>8051s) out there. ;-)
>>
>> Err, unless my eyes are deceiving me, I mentioned that 6805 and 8051
>> ARE the "really low-end/low-cost" stuff. PIC falls into this category
>> as well, even if the top-end PIC chips cost $20-$30 in volume.
>
>You didn't mention PIC as a "top selling ISA", but did ARM. ...then went
>on to name 8051 and 6805. I'd venture to say there are far more PICs and
>8051s (Billions and Billions) served than ARMs.

I did indeed forget about PIC, but it falls into that same category as
the 8051 and 6805, ie yes billions and billions are sold, but they are
REALLY low-end stuff and don't really play into the same markets at
all.

ARM at least sells in some things like handhelds, set-top boxes and
gaming consoles, putting at least in shooting distance of the high-end
CPUs.

The important distinction here is that you don't really see anyone
selling application software for 8051 or PIC, it's all pretty much
customer, application specific embedded stuff. With ARM, on the other
hand, I can go out and buy MS Word for PocketPC and that sort of
thing.

>>>I don't see x86 dominating the "workstation market" today. I think it
>>>easily could, but I don't see it today.
>>
>> I'd say that it does, with the possible exception of certain high-end
>> niche markets. Certainly there are still 64-bit Unix workstations being
>> sold, but almost all of those are being abandoned. Sun is hurting in
>> this market badly, SGI is getting out of it altogether and HPaq is doing
>> the same with their PA-RISC and Alpha lines. I suppose there still are
>> HP's Itanium workstations, but from what I've seen they aren't exactly
>> racking up record sales by any stretch. That pretty much leaves IBM's
>> Power workstations as the last bastion of new, high-end Unix
>> workstations.
>
>It looks like that's where thigns are headed, but today there are still
>boatloads of Unix "workstations" around.

Sure, they are still around because 64-bit for x86 wasn't an option
until last year. I suspect that a lot of these will get replaced in
relatively short-order (at least as compared to the old Unix servers).

I haven't seen any numbers, but I would be quite surprised if any less
than 75% of all workstation revenue came from x86.

>>>...never stand in the way of a Canuckistani with sharp weapons.
>>> ^
>>> +-- see: even I can learn how to
>>> speel.
>>
>> And don't you forget it!
>
>"Stand in the way", or spell? ;-)

Both! :>

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 26, 2004 12:29:45 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 01:06:58 GMT, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
wrote:

>George Macdonald wrote:
>> But if it brings in services deals, who cares? I'm not sure what the
>> current situation is but just a coupla years back there were several *big*
>> corps who backed off on their "distributed server" initiatives and
>> recommitted to a "big iron" strategy. There's a certain comfort in having
>> a centralized computing glass house. Quite honestly I don't know how any
>> corp manages to run a corporate computing environment based on distributed
>> Windows 2K/2003 Servers - it's a bleedin' nightmare... plug 'n' play, point
>> 'n click?... yeah RIGHT.
>>
>
>Check this out:
>
>http://www.platform-solutions.com/docs/S2887rha.final.p...

Interesting. I don't play in that space so some of the terminology is
kinda cryptic and I'm not sure what the benchmarks at the end are saying.
I'm not sure what it adds to what is already well known about trying to
emulate one architecture with another which wasn't explicitly designed for
the emulation... and emm, EPIC would not seem to suggest itself as an ideal
solution but what do I know?:-) The only real question I have is: who's
going to build it?

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
!