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Does Core 2 enforce AMD's claim that Intel is a monopoly?

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July 20, 2006 4:30:46 AM

The question begs to be discussed. Has Conroe only reinforced AMD's case that Intel is a monopoly?

Before you hit the back button, hear me out.

For years AMD and Intel has played what i call the "1 up" game. Since about the K6, with very few exceptions, both companies have only offered products that were marginally better than each others. The K6 was only barely better than the P5, the P2 was only marginally better than the K6, the K6-2 was only marginally better than the P2, the P3 was only marginally better than the K6-2, the Athlon was only marginally better than the P3. And so on and so forth. Same crap, different year.

For years, Intel seemed to be content to let AMD "1 up" all their products because Intel wasn't losing any market share or respect. I mean, why innovate when you're not losing any money? (Note: at one point around 2000, AMD did have a 20% market share... however AMD still wasn't profitable or respected back then. Additionally, AMD quickly lost that 20% market share to Willamette.)

But something changed, didn't it? While Intel was out screwing around, AMD was working hard on Hammer and Clawhammer (Opteron and A64). Soon after the A64 and Opteron were released, Intel began losing significant market share. To further exacerbate things, the industry quickly adopted x86-64 over IA-64. Eventually Intel was forced to reverse engineer x86-64 and put it into all of its products. (I believe this to be a bigger blow to Intel's ego than most think.) It was quickly evident that Intel needed to respond in a big way. Conroe is that big way. With Conroe, we've been shown just how competitive and innovative a big company like Intel can get when it really tries. But for the past 7 years, Intel has had very little reason to be truly innovative. To put it best, Anand Lal Shimpi said this in his review of Conroe.

Quote:
But make no mistake, what you see before you is not the power hungry, poor performing, non-competitive garbage (sorry guys, it's the truth) that Intel has been shoving down our throats for the greater part of the past 5 years.


He's absolutely right. For the better part of 5 years Intel has been "shoving" absolute crap down the industry's throat. How long as the Pentium IV (and it's deriviatives) been around for now? While intel was "improving" NetBurst, AMD was out innovating. And the case can be made that only when Intel loses market share do they truly innovate. We all know what happens when a monopoly exists; innovation stifles. Without a doubt, this remains true for Microsoft. (Really, what the hell have they innovated lately?)

I'd like to see what JumpingJack and Lt. Cmdr. Data have to say about this. Additionally, fanboys, let's try to keep this thread nice and free of personal attacks.
July 20, 2006 4:37:19 AM

I too, await their opinions. For what my opinion is worth, I agree with every bit. Do I think that it helps prove Intel as a monopoly? No, they need no help in proving that. Intel IS a monopoly.
July 20, 2006 4:45:11 AM

I look forward to your reply. ;-)
Related resources
July 20, 2006 4:58:38 AM

[Alternate Theory] ...or it could just be another parting of the Red Sea. [/]
July 20, 2006 5:15:32 AM

I hate to break it to you but Intel is not a monopoly.

In economics, a monopoly is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a kind of product or service.

When AMD dies then Intel will be a monopoly.
July 20, 2006 5:23:10 AM

I think there is an Intel advantage that often gets overlooked, particularly when price comparisons are made.

The Conroe and the P4 D require an Intel MOBO chip set that provides considerable revenue for them. Yes I know they are beginning to see some competition from the likes of Nvidia, but how much of the market share have they gotten?

AMD doesn't enjoy this secondary revenue stream and therefore needs to sacrifice their only source of profit margin when Intel starts a CPU price war.

When one evaluates the CPU and supporting MOBO prices together, you can see my point. If AMD can pull off an ATI merger, perhaps the Intel advantage will be somewhat negated.

Till then, AMD is in dire straights unless they can come up with another killer product soon. Without that, they are back where they started, competing on price alone.

For AMD this is a no win situation.
July 20, 2006 5:27:32 AM

Well Microsoft was deemed a monopoly even though (at the time) MacOS and Linux existed. If you were to adhere to the strict definition you have provided, Microsoft could not be a monopoly. You can get the same product and services on MacOS or Linux. The only exception might be gaming. But you can always game on a console. And before you say that the US government decided M$ was a monopoly in the USA long before linux was a factor, don't forget that the EU ruled M$ was a monopoly in 2004.

To clarify, in the tech industry, a monopoly isn't defined so much by it's literal definition as it by "a company that stiffles innovation."

And I never said Intel was a monopoly, I was merely raising the question. Let's not forget that Japan's FTC already ruled that Intel is in fact a monopoly. I find it most interesting that Intel didn't fight that ruling.

My personal belief is that intel does not meet all the terms for a monopoly, but it certainly has a history of acting in a monopolistic way. And I think my point about Conroe is well made. Intel only innovates when it has to. The same cannot be said for the chipset market, the graphics market, the communications market, the memory market, etc. In every chip market there are more than 2 competitors and no one has a market share above 80%. Not even Intel has an 80% market share in graphics anymore. Why? Because we have two great competitors, ATI and nVidia. Sure, Sun, IBM, and VIA all makes CPU's, but their combined market share is less than what, 5% of the entire market? The same is not true in every other chip market.

I mean, let's stop and think about it for one second. Would you trust Intel to do all the innovation in the graphics market? Hell no. They couldn't create a decent GPU if all their fabs depend on it. So why then is it acceptable to trust intel to most of the CPU market?
July 20, 2006 5:39:47 AM

im not gonna be able to put up much of a debate by any means, for, or against... but i do very much agree that intel (much like microsoft)... havent had much reason to 'truely' innovate... they both have competition going against them... for os', microsoft has competition from apple, and linux primarily (and a few other companies)... but not much to put them in danger really... ... and its for the most part, the same with intel, compared to other semiconductor manufacturers, AMD being the second largest one, though behind in market share, and worldwide influence, by a large degree... and because intel as a whole, was beginning to actually be threatened the last couple years (compared to the 30 or so before), theyve had to start to do something about it, to limit it... where they didnt really need to so much before... and so, i would think thats why theres this huge jump all of a sudden in overall aggressiveness towards amd, to put them back down, where they think they belong... i suppose. (just my opinion though)
July 20, 2006 5:44:55 AM

That's two different things though. In the OS market for PC , Windows basically dominate (90% of PC run one kind of Windows OS). Yes, there is MAC OS, but no PC can run MAC OS (different market) and Linux is still not powerful enough to drive Windows price down. So Microsoft's basically a monopoly, or someone has the major to impact on the price of the market.

Whereas, Intel can drive its own product price down, but cannot affect the whole market situation, AMD can still keep their price if they want although it's bad for their own business. Its competitors in microprocessor are also big corporations: IBM, Sun Microsystem, and AMD for Server processor. And AMD for consumer products.

So I dont think Intel is a Monopoly, but they certainly are the bigger guy.
July 20, 2006 5:52:10 AM

well... i guess primarily in the comparison between amd and intel... the main difference being that intel really can afford to keep there prices low, for longer than amd would be able to, before amd really starts to suffer... and (this is alot of guessing on my part)... but intel could keep their prices low, while still being 'forced' to keep innovating... until amd would have to start to back off more, from a consistant lack of profits i would think (until 65nm nm production kicks in, then maybe different some)... though with the other companies out there, it wouldnt be nearly as easy to accomplish as it would be for microsoft to do.

...but yeah... those are just my opinions at any rate
July 20, 2006 6:00:23 AM

Windows is the only OS which can natively run programs made for Windows. The only other alternative is ReactOS, but nobody knows when it will become actually usable.

BTW, K6-2 wasn't better than P2. It was comparable to P2 in some apps, but P2 had significantly better FPU performance. Original P3 was just P2 + SSE.
July 20, 2006 6:04:13 AM

In the case of MS, the tipping point seemed to be, among other things, when they were bundling IE with their OS and disallowing it to be uninstalled and/or disallowing other web browsers to be installed in it’s place. Correct me if memory serves me wrong, it’s been a long time since then, or so it seems. This was an obvious monopoly violation since MS had leveraged control over a captured segment of the market.

In the case of Intel, I agree with you in that they only seem to innovate when absolutely necessary, however, this is only monopolistic if they were to stymie innovation of other competing companies. This clearly isn’t the case since K8 kicked butt.

I equate past Intel behaviors (pre-Core2) with the automotive industry. Back in the 70’s, American Automotive manufacturers were largely unchallenged by non-American companies, so they were able to operate at the status quo. Enter the Japanese Co.’s and all of a sudden the American Co.’s had serious price/performance/quality competition. We finally began to see an increased level of American innovation as a result, granted it took them 20 years to wake up. However, I don’t think anyone would have deemed the American Automotive industry as having a monopoly over the American market since they were nearly the only players at the time. A similar situation applies with Intel. For the longest time Intel was the primary player with regard to innovation…and along with that comes majority market share.
July 20, 2006 6:05:00 AM

i agree with that and we could all agree that intel is the big brother of processors and microsoft is the big brother of operating systems.

but you cant blame them for being big because there is not too much competition out there. for intel you ONLY have amd ( im not even going to put macs in this because they are lame) was it not intel who started off the processor business?

they are only the biggest because amd isnt giving them a run for there money. intel did us a favor by bringing new processors out and allowing amd to calm down those damn ugly prices they have. i think intel was just letting little brother have a peice of the pie and took the pie from them when they were trying to get seconds.

again, intel will be an monopoly if amd dies
but who would want intel to become a monopoly? that WILL stop us from having choices of processors and i like that both of them live.

IF amd becomes a monopoly

THEN prices for there processors will be not too good ( but will be good for us because we dont have any other choices and be no point for benchmarks)

ENDIF

tell me someone who hates intel and i will call that person an idiot due to the fact that the person does NOT like price cuts :) .



microsoft for example does not really have any competition. some people hate microsoft but i like it because it gets the job done.


why is microsoft the big brother? you could probably answer that due to the fact that people buy prebuilt computers and microsoft comes with it + they probably use windows xp at the office. i dont know too many people who use a much easier operating system then windows then its fun for gamers because every new game WILL work for windows xp/2000 and such because if it doesnt they will lose money ( of course)


what can you do to stop microsoft from being the monopoly? make a better os that will have all games played on it while being user friendly.
July 20, 2006 6:11:39 AM

I don't think using MS as an equivalent to Intel is really a fair comparision. In answer to the original question I don't think that Core 2 strengthens AMD's argument that Intel is a monopoly. In actuality, if Intel was all it claimed to be, the response of an innovative and (vastly) superior product would not even be needed. If anything this proves that Intel could not stiffle AMD's success using any underhanded tactics and is now competing with them purely with product performance.
July 20, 2006 6:12:29 AM

I can see where the original idea was headed, but in my opinion, the opposite (kinda) is true.

(pls note, "market" used below is x86 market, no ppc macs or Sun sparcs included)

I'd go back to the original Hammer & Clawhammer vs Netburst scenario. Face it, Athlons & Opterons crapped all over P4s, Xeons, and Itaniums. Not many people can convincingly argue otherwise. Yet, intel's market share didn't go down by much (it may have dipped below 80%, but that's still a pretty huge chunk of the market). In the following years, AMD kept on beating intel, time and again, in performance, performance/Watt, performance/$, whatever. and yet intel forever stayed above 75% market share. to me, that is the mark of a monopoly, having a (relatively) crap product that still outsells the competition 4:1.

The lawsuit against intel by amd will be very interesting to watch, in regards to the above paragraph, i'd really like to see intel explain why an inferior product was so successful (i don't think they can explain everything with "good marketing")


Now, to conroe. After getting their asses handed to them for years, performance-wise, intel finally realised how crap netburst was, how good the pentiumpro/tualatin/banias/dothan bloodline was, and thus the idea for yonah/conroe/merom/woodcrest was born. The moment soeone realised this was the moment intel realised that they weren't a monopoly anymore, or at least wouldn't be for long, unless they started innovating. (my guess is that the lawsuit by amd helped them realise that if they want to appear competitive, they'd better act like it)

So now, i'd say that intel is no longer a monopoly, they know it, and that's why they developed the artwork that is conroe. Sure, if they hadn't kept their market share through netburst, they may not have had the cash to r&d conroe, but then again, if they were truly competitive, they may have tried to improve on netburst years ago.
Ironically, if it weren't for amd innovating (as well as making people "aware" that perf/W was a good thing), we wouldn't have conroe at all.

Whether Conroe helps them regain market share
quickly, eventually, or not at all is too close to call. But in my opinion, we're in the first stages of some really good competition just starting up. (now bring on socketF, 16-way opty boards with HTX slots, and intel may even be forced to make a decent server chip)
July 20, 2006 6:14:14 AM

Quote:
So Microsoft's basically a monopoly, or someone has the major to impact on the price of the market.



i gotta get you on something there. microsoft is not a monopoly. why? because they have competitors not very many but nevertheless they have them.

define monopoly: a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller


IF microsoft is a monopoly
THEN there are no other sellers selling operating systems on pC


mac os i think is a monopoly because they dont have any competitors on the same platform.
July 20, 2006 6:24:22 AM

Quote:
I can see where the original idea was headed, but in my opinion, the opposite (kinda) is true.

(pls note, "market" used below is x86 market, no ppc macs or Sun sparcs included)

I'd go back to the original Hammer & Clawhammer vs Netburst scenario. Face it, Athlons & Opterons crapped all over P4s, Xeons, and Itaniums. Not many people can convincingly argue otherwise. Yet, intel's market share didn't go down by much (it may have dipped below 80%, but that's still a pretty huge chunk of the market). In the following years, AMD kept on beating intel, time and again, in performance, performance/Watt, performance/$, whatever. and yet intel forever stayed above 75% market share. to me, that is the mark of a monopoly, having a (relatively) crap product that still outsells the competition 4:1.

The lawsuit against intel by amd will be very interesting to watch, in regards to the above paragraph, i'd really like to see intel explain why an inferior product was so successful (i don't think they can explain everything with "good marketing")


Now, to conroe. After getting their asses handed to them for years, performance-wise, intel finally realised how crap netburst was, how good the pentiumpro/tualatin/banias/dothan bloodline was, and thus the idea for yonah/conroe/merom/woodcrest was born. The moment soeone realised this was the moment intel realised that they weren't a monopoly anymore, or at least wouldn't be for long, unless they started innovating. (my guess is that the lawsuit by amd helped them realise that if they want to appear competitive, they'd better act like it)

So now, i'd say that intel is no longer a monopoly, they know it, and that's why they developed the artwork that is conroe. Sure, if they hadn't kept their market share through netburst, they may not have had the cash to r&d conroe, but then again, if they were truly competitive, they may have tried to improve on netburst years ago.
Ironically, if it weren't for amd innovating (as well as making people "aware" that perf/W was a good thing), we wouldn't have conroe at all.

Whether Conroe helps them regain market share
quickly, eventually, or not at all is too close to call. But in my opinion, we're in the first stages of some really good competition just starting up. (now bring on socketF, 16-way opty boards with HTX slots, and intel may even be forced to make a decent server chip)


they were never a monopoly ( unless you count the days that they didnt have any competitors).

why did intel not fall too much when amd was owning them in processors? because intel gets most of its buyers from companies buying intel pc's.

what can amd do about this? jump into that and start selling.

then this brings up dell, selling intel processors in desktops. why? because dell and intel got a bond with each other about that kind of thing

amd has alienware ( but according to something i read i think ( might be wrong. dell is merging with alienware). why is alienware getting owned by dell? comes down to the exact same reason why intel owns amd. the price of there processors are much lower then amd processors.

we all know of amd being the gaming processor and we know of the intel being the office and multitasking sort of processor.

intel got into the game way before amd did thats why intel has clients buying their products.

another example, whats the point of putting an alienware desktop in all of schools when pulling a dell to get the job done is cheaper and looks more professional ( i think for the office/ school type of surroundings)
July 20, 2006 6:25:08 AM

Quote:
to me, that is the mark of a monopoly, having a (relatively) crap product that still outsells the competition 4:1.


I respectfully disagree --- was it Intel holding > 75% MSS or was it AMD who had only 1 fab, 130 nm going to 90 nm, and ran a lean inventory such that they could not make enough of it to grab any more than what they did.

Interesting is it not that the MSS loss incurred by Intel to AMD followed the conversion/ramp of AMD's 90 nm process?

Ruiz himself has stated to analyst in financial updates that they would have sold more if they were not constrained on capacity (this was early 2005 I believe).

Jack

Great point, Jack. I would also add to this that (even though you've already touched upon this above...) both companies were operating largely off of reputation. Intel of having a reputation of producing quality chips, while AMD with an opposing reputation. As a result, AMD had a hard time breaking new back-office ground.
July 20, 2006 6:28:38 AM

Quote:
Quote:


that they would have sold more if they were not constrained on capacity (this was early 2005 I believe).

Jack


they who?
July 20, 2006 6:30:53 AM

Quote:
Quote:


that they would have sold more if they were not constrained on capacity (this was early 2005 I believe).

Jack


they who?

AMD.
July 20, 2006 6:46:04 AM

Quote:
why did intel not fall too much when amd was owning them in processors? because intel gets most of its buyers from companies buying intel pc's.


and that's what the lawsuit is about, you'd think that volume buyers would want the best for their money (or the cheapest for the performance they need) to scrape the absolute best value they can. AMD was clearly king of p/$ at the time, yet intel retained market share.
If AMD's claims in the lawsuit are correct, then intel were paying those system builders to use their chips (already proven in Japan, if i'm not mistaken). That's the "monopolistic behaviour" to which i was referring, whether or not they were a true, theoretical monopoly is moot.


(ps. can we give up on the arguement "formal" definition of monopoly? i think most people here are using it interchangeably with "almost total market share" and occasionally "abuse of market share", it's just shorter to write)
July 20, 2006 7:18:44 AM

Obviously you did not take or pay attention in economics class. Intel is not a monopoly and all AMD is doing by saying so is looking like a cry baby sorta like who was that.......oh yeah Netscape. AMD grabbed the crown for awhile but decided to rest and let Intel catch up. And now they want to buy ATI? good gawde maude that'll be the day I go back to the evil intellian empire.
July 20, 2006 7:27:27 AM

Quote:
If AMD's claims in the lawsuit are correct, then intel were paying those system builders to use their chips (already proven in Japan, if i'm not mistaken). That's the "monopolistic behaviour" to which i was referring, whether or not they were a true, theoretical monopoly is moot.
Even if Intel was behaving in a monopolistic fashion, the question still remains unanswered.....Does Core2 prove this....I don't think it does. The Intel chipset argument is moot, as VIA, nVidia, ATI, and SiS were/are all Intel compatable(not Intels fault that more people chose Intel chipsets..as they were/are Best performing). And as Jack has explained, from drawing board to working CPU takes years...and the AMD lawsuit/finger-pointing didn't surface until last year(long after Core2Duo was in the works) so Core2Duo isn't a reflex to the Monopoly accusation. My 2 cents. :?
July 20, 2006 7:37:21 AM

I did not bother reading most of the reply cause after reading the title i was hoping that somewhere in your message you would have some proof or thought into what you are saying but it doesnt.
Are you trying to say competition is a monopoly?
what you described is pretty much what ati and nvidea have been doing
I happen to think monopoly lawsuits are crap.

Its like the dodgers suing the yankees because they keep winning
July 20, 2006 8:02:38 AM

This is really interesting and brings up a really good debate. But what some people fail to realize is the time it takes to design a CPU. Many people think it takes 6 months to a year to design a CPU and that if a mistake is made, it is something that a company can fix within a year or 2.

Before AMD was even competitive, Intel still kept on improving their CPUs. They needed to do this in order to sell more CPUs. While the market was growing, it only grows so much. If Intel wanted to maximize profit, they had to design a CPU that performed better than the ones their customers currently have. And of course, they charged a lot for them because they didn't have anyone else who made processors that were as good.

Enter the Northwood processor. This was Intel's first mistake. This is where they extended the pipeline. Was this a BAD processor? No, it wasn't. Intel figured while it may not be as efficient, it would be very fast and would be able to easily make up for the inefficiencies because it could have many more instructions in the pipeline and it ran faster. Northwood wasn't a bad processor, as it was still relatively efficient and ran faster than AMD CPUs. This is why AMD had to change the naming structure.

Enter Prescott..... Prescott pushed Northwood too far. Intel also didn't realize that they would run into a power wall. This is something that is very hard to predict and based on transistor performance, speed never was the problem, it was always power. Once they hit this power wall, they realized the mistake they made and changed direction. But this mistake started with Northwood.

While it may seem like Intel really sat back and did nothing, the mobile processor shows that they really were innovating and designing this whole time. Everyone makes mistakes, the difference here is, if you're an executive of a microprocessor company, if you make a mistake, it will set your company back 4 years! This is the reason these people get paid lots of money. Everyone makes mistakes, but when they make a mistake, it will cost a company millions, or even billions.
July 20, 2006 8:16:50 AM

Quote:
Obviously you did not take or pay attention in economics class. Intel is not a monopoly and all AMD is doing by saying so is looking like a cry baby sorta like who was that.......oh yeah Netscape. AMD grabbed the crown for awhile but decided to rest and let Intel catch up. And now they want to buy ATI? good gawde maude that'll be the day I go back to the evil intellian empire.


*cough*, fyi, i'm one of those rare creatures who has both a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic) and a Bachelor of Economics. (and that first line in my siggy isn't there for shits&giggles)

anyway, before we get personal, lets get back to the point at hand.

Quote:
If intel and AMD were truly competitors circa netburst vs *hammer, then intel would have lost a lot more market share than they did. This suggests that intel were {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share} (pick one, all mean the same, regardless of what the dictionary says is the formal definition of a monopoly). That's what AMD's lawsuit is trying to prove.


Quote:
If intel is {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share}, then Conroe would never have been made, as they would have been able to coast along on their own steam, anything AMD did would be beside the point.


Quote:
If AMD and intel were truly competitive, then Conroe would have been made sooner, as the competion would have eaten away at intel's market share a lot quicker than it did


Quote:
If intel wasn't {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share}, then they wouldn't have been able to afford the r&d to make Conroe


i could go on for hours, but i have dinner to make soon.

now to other points:
Quote:
Even if Intel was behaving in a monopolistic fashion, the question still remains unanswered.....Does Core2 prove this....I don't think it does.

refer to the last 2 arguements in my nutshell above. at both extremes, either they wouldn't have needed to build Conroe (yet), or they (probably) couldn't afford to (or would have done something to kill off netburst sooner). i don't know either way, but the fact that we have Conroe, and we have it now, shows that we're somewhere in between.

IMHO at the very least, intel made Conroe not because of declining market share, but the fear of declining market share, which shows that either intel never were {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share}, or they have stopped, or want to appear that they have stopped (to look competitive for the upcoming lawsuit.).



ps, the netscape vs IE battle doesn't really analogise properly here. MS was bundling IE with its already popular windows, to force netscape out of the market. Intel is not doing any such "piggybacking", as far as this thread is concerned. intel allegedly giving an unfair advantage to their chipset division over ati/sis/nvidia's chipset developers is not the point of this thread, and is a thread for another day.[/quote]
July 20, 2006 9:22:21 AM

A monopoly is when a company or a group has 100% control over a commodity.

Microsoft was not tried for being a monopoly, they were tried for monopolistic practices, the same thing AMD is suing Intel for now.

The ferver of competition between a small and large company almost always causes accusations that the larger company is a bully and is trying to make sure the smaller company does not bite into their market share.
Due to economics and protection of profit for the stock holders it is almost always true.

This is the way things are and will always be in a capitolistic system. If the tables were turned AMD would do the same thing.

Anyone here would be guilty of the same. If you have a high paying job and some younger eager person challenges your position to a point where you might lose you job you will do one of two things, work harder to maintain your value or try make the younger person look bad.

Intel decided to do a little of both. They spent a lot of money developing a superior product, and in doing so put AMD back on their heels. AMD has reacted badly in my opinion and has thrown every excuse, claim and promise imaginable rather than congradulating Intel for their hard work.

AMD did the second part for Intel by making themselves look bad with their own actions.
July 20, 2006 9:32:48 AM

Quote:

If intel and AMD were truly competitors circa netburst vs *hammer, then intel would have lost a lot more market share than they did. This suggests that intel were {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share} (pick one, all mean the same, regardless of what the dictionary says is the formal definition of a monopoly). That's what AMD's lawsuit is trying to prove.

If intel is {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share}, then Conroe would never have been made, as they would have been able to coast along on their own steam, anything AMD did would be beside the point.

If AMD and intel were truly competitive, then Conroe would have been made sooner, as the competion would have eaten away at intel's market share a lot quicker than it did

If intel wasn't {a monopoly / abusing the power of a monopoly / abusing a large market share}, then they wouldn't have been able to afford the r&d to make Conroe


I think there are a lot of bad points here.

If 2 companies are truly competitors, one will NOT always go out of business if they release a bad product! They will lose market share. Plain and simple. Basic economics. Just because a company doesn't have the best product does not mean it wont sell good. Case and point, Absolut. AMAZING marketing, but below average product, and now it is one of the most famous vodka's on the market.

AMD was competitive, they could not make enough CPUs to meet demand. But even if they were able to meet demand, Conroe would NOT have been produced sooner. It takes WAY too long to design a processor, if a company heads in the wrong direction, the recovery time is at least 3-4 years. It doesn't matter how much AMD ate out of Intel's market share. If this was the case, AMD would release K8L before Q2 07.

If AMD had 75% of the market share, Intel would have STILL produced Conroe. AMD has been doing the research on K6, K7, K8, and K8L with less than 25% market share. They are right around the red/black line, but they still manage to research products, Intel would be able to also.
July 20, 2006 9:44:16 AM

Quote:
In the case of MS, the tipping point seemed to be, among other things, when they were bundling IE with their OS and disallowing it to be uninstalled and/or disallowing other web browsers to be installed in it’s place. Correct me if memory serves me wrong, it’s been a long time since then, or so it seems. This was an obvious monopoly violation since MS had leveraged control over a captured segment of the market.

In the case of Intel, I agree with you in that they only seem to innovate when absolutely necessary, however, this is only monopolistic if they were to stymie innovation of other competing companies. This clearly isn’t the case since K8 kicked butt.

I equate past Intel behaviors (pre-Core2) with the automotive industry. Back in the 70’s, American Automotive manufacturers were largely unchallenged by non-American companies, so they were able to operate at the status quo. Enter the Japanese Co.’s and all of a sudden the American Co.’s had serious price/performance/quality competition. We finally began to see an increased level of American innovation as a result, granted it took them 20 years to wake up. However, I don’t think anyone would have deemed the American Automotive industry as having a monopoly over the American market since they were nearly the only players at the time. A similar situation applies with Intel. For the longest time Intel was the primary player with regard to innovation…and along with that comes majority market share.





I’ve also made the auto maker analogy several times. Not tooting my own horn, just thought I’d take the opportunity to expand a bit on the analogy, where it went and how it applies to the topic of this thread.

Back in the 60’s Ford started the pony car wars with the introduction of the Mustang. The pony car wars rapidly evolved into the horsepower wars which evolved with even greater rapidity into the cubic inch wars. The mentality of “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” pervaded, and engine development rapidly progressed from the Ford 260 V8 and Chevy 283 V8 to the Ford 428 and Chevy 427. “More” was the buzzword of the late 60s. For Ford/GM/Chrysler (The big 3) “more” meant more horsepower, which meant more cubic inches. Intel’s approach to performance, for some time, mirrored that of the Big 3. In a word “More”. For Intel, “more” power has historically translated directly into more transistors per die, i.e MHz, and later GHz.

(As an aside, yes, there were exceptions to the more cubic inches rule, most notably Ford’s Boss 302 engine, but that was for the very specific arena of TRANSAM racing)

The early 70’s saw the death of US auto performance as it was then known. The US government (Dept of Transportation) was not idle during the late 60s/early 70s and began enforcing increased safety and emissions requirements. This forced the manufactures down a path that resulted in even more cubic inches but lower HP ratings. Still, the mentality of increasing cubic inches continued. Came the birth of the Ford 460 cubic inch behemoth. A gas swilling monster that put out a miserable 208 HP by the time federal regulations had finished having their way with it. Also at this time, the first of the “gas crisis’s” the US would have to endure since WWII began: Higher prices, reduced availability, rationing. And still, the mentality of big cubic inch engines continued in the US auto manufacturers.

Enter Japan: Japan wanted to crack the US auto market. Japans first attempts, the early Nissans (then named Datsun) and Toyotas were, in a word, horrible. Similarly, so were some of AMD's early offerings. In Japans favor however, they had smartly attacked the US auto markets via the US auto manufacturer’s greatest weakness. Economy. While early Japanese imports sucked (no corrosion resistance, no power, unbelievably poor fit and finish, no useful options to speak of and horrible comfort) they did do one thing no US cars did. They got decent (at the time) mileage. They were also cheaply priced.

The US auto manufactures viewed the Japanese cars as a splash in the pan, and not a problem to be concerned about. They had dealt with rivals, both foreign and domestic before and were not worried. They were wrong. They continued to push out crap trusting in customer loyalty and (at that time) superior quality. Intel failed to learn the lesson of the US auto manufacturers and was not worried by AMD. Like the big 3, Intel pushed out some crap.

Time progressed, and as word the quality of Japans initial offerings spread, the Japanese experienced less than stellar sales. The economy approach kept them alive. Like wise the economy approach helped AMD to stay alive.

The Japanese, however, were hungry and not content with their position. Rather than continue pushing out economic crap, the Japanese took their car’s failings to heart and busted their butts to correct their flaws and improve their product. AMD, likewise, was not content with their position or product, and worked just as hard to improve both. The Japanese perseverance prevailed. Likewise, AMD’s perseverance succeeded.

By the mid to late 70s, the die was cast. While US automobiles quality was stagnating, or worse deteriorating, the Japanese had greatly improved their offerings in every aspect. Japanese auto sales were growing significantly in the US. The US auto manufacturers got scared. They realized the Japanese were not going to be driven out (there was a bunch of political stuff going on with the US manufacturers’ lobbyists working congress to impose restrictions, but fear of rising gas prices and public demand for the imports made any tariffs or restrictions an unpopular path for most US politicians)

Through the late 70s and early to mid 80, the US manufactures were forced to play catch up with the Japanese in all aspects. Early offerings (the chevette, the escort, the horizon) failed to impress. But the Big 3 kept at it and they did make progress. Likewise, Intel worked to improve, and did, but they also failed to impress.

Now we come to the question mark. Its 2006. Intel, if all the hype is to be believed (not that it matters, but IMO the hype is for real) is about to drop a bomb on the CPU market. Realistically, the analogy ends here, as the US auto manufactures have not dropped any bombs (in the good sense) on the auto market. Or did they?

During the mid 80s, stabilization of inflation and the economy lead to increases in America’s discretionary income. The stronger economy along with the maturation of the generation whose moms and dads drove 60's Camaros and Mustangs lead to a resurgence of interest in performance and luxury cars. The US auto manufacturers recognized this. The Z28 Camaro, at the time an emasculated marketing tool, began a return to its pony car roots. Likewise, the death of the horrible Mustang II eventually allowed a rebirth for the Mustangs on the Fox chassis . The pony car wars were back on.

The maturation of a generation along with a stronger economy did much to aid the US auto manufacturers. The Japanese had nothing to offer in either the performance or luxury category. Initially, the Japanese did not view the pony car wars as significant, or the performance/luxury categories as profitable, and so did not pursue them. However, the economy remained reasonably stable (with a few scares) and the new pony car wars continued to grow. The Japanese eventually recognized this. Thus began the Japanese assault on the US performance market. Japan however, had a difficult time making solid inroads in the performance market until the mid to late 90s. Against the US manufacturer’s performance experience, history and identity, the Japanese had little to offer (Datsun 240/260Z and Nissan280Z aside) and a lot of catching up to do. Eventually they did. (As a note, both the minivan and SUV trends which occured later were similar to the pony car trend, but in those cases the Japanese reacted much more quickly and agressively)

So, are we going to see history continuing to repeat itself? If the Conroe of today is Mustang/Camaro of the mid to late 80s/90s, will we see an AMD entry to rival? IMO yes, and like the Japanese, it will take some time for AMD to pull it off.

What’s that got to do with the topic of the thread? The US auto manufactures thought they had a monopoly. At least in terms of nationality. Sure there were the niche fillers. The odd Porsche, Fiat, Rolls Royce Jaguar etc, but these were just that, niche market vehicles. Against foreign manufactures, the Big 3 had the average consumer market sown up. The big 3 were complacent, and the Japanese came on the scene and shoved that complacency right up the Big 3’s collective behinds. Likewise Intel seems to have believed, for some time that they had a monopoly. As MPjesse stated in so many words, Intel was complacent. Like the Japanese shocked the Big 3, AMD has clearly shaken Intel’s monopolistic mindset.

I do not believe Core 2 will drive AMD out of business. But if the CPU game follows the auto analogy, AMD is going to have its work cut out for it cracking the Conroe, and when they do, it will probably not be an undeniable victory. If AMD succeeds as the Japanese did, the result will be more equally balanced and consistant product battle.
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2006 10:23:48 AM

The question shouldn't be whether or not Intel is a monopoly (because by definition they are not since a viable alternative exists and is healthy) but has Intel engaged in anti-competitive practices (which is what Microsoft did to Compaq when they installed Netscape in favor of IE, by threatening them with no license to install Windows, no OS no computer sales) to curb AMD's growth. This would entail such things as threatening to cut off supply to OEM's if they started offering systems built around an AMD platform. Have they done this? I don't know, I haven't heard anything like that. It's possible some back-room dealings occurred, but thus far no one is stepping forward to offer evidence to that for AMD.

As for someone saying that AMD's focus is on CPU's and not chipsets and therefore have a more difficult time with aggressive pricing, AMD stayed out of making chipsets for their CPU's by choice. Before nVidia, AMD (anyone remember Irongate) was forced to produce platforms (ie. chipsets) for their CPU's because the alternatives (VIA, SiS, ULi) were all too slow to market and were unstable/slow. Once nVidia came in and started providing stable platforms for their CPU's at the launch of new products, AMD left the market. They didn't want the chipset market, they wanted to concentrate on CPU's. That was their choice, it wasn't forced upon them.

Honestly I think Intel gets a bad rap, they are the big guy, so everyone thinks they are the bully. I can assure you that some of AMD's business practices would seem just as underhanded if they were exposed. These companies are here to pry the dollars out of our hands, they don't do anything out of the goodness of their hearts. If one company sees the other taking money and market share from them they will resort to any (even underhanded) means to keep that from happening. Anyone who believes otherwise hasn't much experience with business or capitalism.
July 20, 2006 10:30:02 AM

Good analogy.

1. Chevy's 302 was quicker and more powerful than Fords...and rev!!! :wink:

2. The domestic automakers have merged with the foreign MFGR's to collaborate and produce better products, and learn from them.ie: Chrysler bought Lambo..then brought out the Viper, and all their cars are getting bigtime power....Charger?. Nissan/Peugeot wants to buy 10% shares of GM, and GM is interested. So they aren't just defeating the competiton, they are feeding off each other and collaborating with them to make the best products, and stay profitable, which basically, is what Intel/AMD used to do.
July 20, 2006 10:55:53 AM

Quote:
Good analogy.

1. Chevy's 302 was quicker and more powerful than Fords...and rev!!! :wink:

2. The domestic automakers have merged with the foreign MFGR's to collaborate and produce better products, and learn from them.ie: Chrysler bought Lambo..then brought out the Viper, and all their cars are getting bigtime power....Charger?. Nissan/Peugeot wants to buy 10% shares of GM, and GM is interested. So they aren't just defeating the competiton, they are feeding off each other and collaborating with them to make the best products, and stay profitable, which basically, is what Intel/AMD used to do.


Well, thank you very much :D 

Yes, Ford owns 33% Mazda, as well as all of Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo, Land Rover and several others. These companies all still exist, albeit with reduced autonomy. As you state, Ford collaborates extensively with them to improve their products. Though, I think Jag selling out to Ford bordered on sacrilegious.

What I find more interesting than the re-alignments in the auto industry (at this moment in time) is the effect NAFTA has had. Reagan and Bush Sr lobbied with great effort to force the Japanese to build plants in the US and create US jobs. NAFTA has allowed Toyota and Nissan to move plants to Mexico and Canada. Probably right next door to Ford and GMs plants :wink:


Oh, on the 302, I wasn’t talking about the standard 68 Ford 302, or the "Boss" labled 302s of the 90s. I was talking about the real Boss 302. The limited production 69/70 Boss 302s. :wink:

Peace
July 20, 2006 11:47:12 AM

How can you say that Intel was not innovative?
Let's start from the situation where Intel had the Pentium 3 and AMD the K7, Intel created 3 completely different uArchitectures: Netburst, Pentium-M and IA-64.
At the same time AMD has only launched the K8, which has a lot of design in common with the K7, which probably remains as the only big innovation from AMD until now.
The news that K8L won't appear before Q1'08 saddens me, as it shows that we probably overstimated AMD's potential in terms of R&D, because as of now, K8L seems like it can just match Conroe or barely outperform it..
July 20, 2006 12:34:52 PM

ROTF LMAO ,,, Core anything has nothing to do with Intel being a monopoly,,, I dont think you are thinking straight here with this post.

Do you really have any idea what this AMD /Intel law suit is actually about.

OH! & BTW ,,, I predict that AMD will win it.
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2006 12:35:29 PM

Quote:
Eventually Intel was forced to reverse engineer x86-64 and put it into all of its products. (I believe this to be a bigger blow to Intel's ego than most think.)

Hmm well you shouldn't have posted this line as it is innacurate. Intel did not reverse engineer x86-64. Intel received the list of x64 instructions from AMD and engineered there own version of x86-64 compatible with those said instructions.

At first some instructions were missing as AMD had not given Intel the entire instructions set. Now, both can execute the same instructions, but they don't look the same at all.

Just thought I'd correct this iinacuracy.
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2006 1:05:37 PM

No doubt there is some truth to INTEL being monopolistic but AMD was making serious headway against INTEL of course recently. So apparently you can't make an inferior product and keep the market forever. I think a few things need to be remembered.

1. AMD was pretty inferior through the k6-2 era. K6 was initialy hyped and reviewed as a great chip until the FPU deficincy became apparent. P1-MMX played FPS games better than k-6 by far as I recall. (which I learned the hard way when I fired up Quake (1) on my knew k6 which I had overclocked to a whopping 225 mhz, even with my 3d FX Monster 3d card the frames were crappy!) k6-2 fixed this to a degree but you had to deal with a patch. As a system seller back then I remember the word on the street was "stick with INTEL, just to be safe and sure" and I think this was a good policy for a time. It takes time, sometimes a LONG time to recover from a reputation. PPL new to the game probably don't remember these early days.

2. Once the platforms split and you needed a new MOBO to run AMD chips there were 2 problems - (1) the MOBOs and chipsets for AMD were somewhat inferior, at least initialy, or at least had some occasional compatibity issues, which scared people away and added more fuel to the concept that AMD was not totally a safe bet (2) though AMD was a cheaper chip you had to buy a new MOBO with it whereas INTEL had an upgrade path with their old boards at least for a while.

3. The cutting edge of performance is only importatnt to power users, which in the big scheme is miniscule compared to office desktops and everyday home PC's, so even after AMD took price/performance lead there was no pressing reason to switch. Those who needed the power and the price, gamers like me, DID switch early on. Keep in mind too that the price of a CPU is but 1 of many affecting price of entire system.

I think the above mentioned reasons go a long way toward explaining why AMD lagged in sales for so long. It takes time for attitudes to change. That INTEL coasted for a time is as much due to a reputation they had already rightfully earned as it is to nefarious, monopolistic behavior.
July 20, 2006 1:27:19 PM

So you mean that Intel should raised the Core 2 pricing to equal the sells of AMD?

That is why I pray that some other companies out there like IBM, Texas Instruments and Suns would someday compete with the cpu market. Thus making more choices and more importantly could bring lower prices on cpus.
July 20, 2006 1:46:28 PM

Quote:
Eventually Intel was forced to reverse engineer x86-64 and put it into all of its products. (I believe this to be a bigger blow to Intel's ego than most think.)

Hmm well you shouldn't have posted this line as it is innacurate. Intel did not reverse engineer x86-64. Intel received the list of x64 instructions from AMD and engineered there own version of x86-64 compatible with those said instructions.

At first some instructions were missing as AMD had not given Intel the entire instructions set. Now, both can execute the same instructions, but they don't look the same at all.

Just thought I'd correct this iinacuracy.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1561875,00.a...

I suggest you read this article. There is no license agreement between AMD and Intel on EMT64/x86-64. The reason the instructions were initially different was because Intel did reverse engineer AMD64. Reverse engineering is not an exacting process. If you can find any proof that AMD "gave" the instructions to Intel (which would constitute some sort of licensing agreement), I'll acknowledge my error. However I've done lots of research on this and was unable to find any licensing or sharing of tech agreement between AMD and Intel on this topic.
July 20, 2006 2:01:33 PM

Talk about revisionist history.

To answer all your points about Conroe, look at Intel's profit/revenue for Quarter 2, 2006. A corporation's first responsibility is not to wholesale its products to lazy uniformed consumers, but first and foremost to make a profit. If every year, Intel/AMD released a significantly faster CPU, (i.e. 30-40% as Conroe appears to be.) Why, near the end of the cycle would anyone pay any significant amount of money for the previous generation??? Every quarter before a new processor release, sales would slump horribly and inventory for previous chips would rise insanely.

Now let's get to the revisionist history. Northwood P4's were by no means crap. At the time, Athlon's were the power hungry space heaters. Anyone remember the Thoroughbred A core? Or what about Athlon 1400? Athlon 1400 reached TDP unheard of until the likes of Prescott P4's. And that was years before Prescott. If someone had shown the Intel engineers the power requirements and leakage numbers of a 8GHz P4, I can assure you that Netburst would never have existed. After all, that was their goal, 10GHz by 2010.

Now revisionist perfomance..... AMD has never had a "performance" leadership in any meaningful way until Athlon 64. Not K6, K6-2, K6-3 or even K7.
K6's were not faster than Pentium Pro's.
K6-2's were not faster than Pentium 2's.
K6-3's were absoule crap.
K7 was faster in old Floating Point code not optimized for SSE. (which after 3 months, every piece of software was SSE optimized)

AMD and Cyrix "platforms" until AMD's Opteron were absolue jokes to business consumers. Now that Opteron is a viable platform, the market responds. Funny how that works.
July 20, 2006 2:06:05 PM

Lambo is owned by VW/Audi For the Viper they asked for help since they did not have any production on v10's and cost was cheaper outsourced.
Quote:
Good analogy.

1. Chevy's 302 was quicker and more powerful than Fords...and rev!!! :wink:

2. The domestic automakers have merged with the foreign MFGR's to collaborate and produce better products, and learn from them.ie: Chrysler bought Lambo..then brought out the Viper, and all their cars are getting bigtime power....Charger?. Nissan/Peugeot wants to buy 10% shares of GM, and GM is interested. So they aren't just defeating the competiton, they are feeding off each other and collaborating with them to make the best products, and stay profitable, which basically, is what Intel/AMD used to do.
July 20, 2006 2:24:25 PM

A rather interesting post, I must say. This debate has been going on and will continue to go on for some time no doubt. The core question as to whether the current top CPU will enforce a claim to Intel's monopoly is a little redundant though. Fanboys aside, the fact is that whether or not Intel is a monopoly according to the dictionary, they are for all intents and purposes a monopoly. One has only to do a google search to find literally hundreds of articles about lawsuits, government fines, and documented anti-competitive practices by Intel. Here's one good example, check out page 2 for an itemized list.

http://www.thetechzone.com/?m=show&id=290&page=2

Fanboys can contend that these are all made up by AMD, but they're only kidding themselves. You can't manipulate markets that effectively and NOT be a monopoly. Now, is this monopoly a sign that Intel as a whole is an evil empire? No. As someone who has been dealing with PCs since the 8086 days, the fact is they were pretty much the first processor maker in the PC realm. So they started as a de-facto monopoly. They figured out early, that people didn't know what they needed when it came to processors, and therefore they could release products in a manner that enabled them to control their profits. Basically, don't release truly cutting edge products, just release incrementally better products until you're FORCED to change either because of technology limitations or until the product stops making serious money. So it started as just protecting their source of income, as any company does.

Enter AMD. They released said products slightly cheaper. Albeit in the early days, they were just copies of Intel products. Why do you suppose Intel let them do this? Intel, even then, was getting pressure because they were a monopoly. So let this startup company license it's technology and sell a little cheaper. They won't take serious market share because they are an absolute unknown and it'll get the gov off their back. For quite a few years, AMD tried to compete in market share but was mostly (with a few exceptions) just left with the economy market. I am not a fanboy, so I won't say AMD's rep or even practices are spotless, so no doubt that has played some part in their difficulties. Once AMD got big enough to start doing their own R&D and trying to truly compete with their own product and not just copies of Intel's, that's when Intel took notice and again reacted to protect their source of income.

Bottom line, Intel is a monopoly. AMD had a better product for a while and gained some market share. Nowhere near anything to threaten Intel's dominance, but it did force Intel to go beyond the normal "incrementally better" strategy and actually come out with a product that is light years ahead of previous generations. But until (IF) AMD captures ALOT more market and has the $$ to throw around like Intel, they will always be the little guy. But reigning in Intel on the anti-competitive front, would go a long way to helping AMD keep Intel in the position of being innovative instead of "incrementally better". As current products (core 2) and news today of significantly lowered profit expectations by Intel demonstrates, this is the first time in a long time that Intel has felt a little heat from a competitor.
July 20, 2006 2:24:47 PM

Quote:
K7 was faster in old Floating Point code not optimized for SSE. (which after 3 months, every piece of software was SSE optimized)

Nope.
K7 smoked PII, which was its initial opponent.
Then PIII came, was more competitive, AMD was held back by the slow off-die on-cartridge cache, clocked 1/3rd of the core, but then Thunderbird introduced on-die cache and smoked the PIII again, not to mention the ramp in clock speed, where PIII hit a wall at 1GHz.
Then against Netburst it was a leapfrog game, where eventually K7 lost due to the slower FSB, even though the Barton core was competitive with Northwood.
July 20, 2006 2:44:25 PM

Quote:
K7 was faster in old Floating Point code not optimized for SSE. (which after 3 months, every piece of software was SSE optimized)

Nope.
K7 smoked PII, which was its initial opponent.
Then PIII came, was more competitive, AMD was held back by the slow off-die on-cartridge cache, clocked 1/3rd of the core, but then Thunderbird introduced on-die cache and smoked the PIII again, not to mention the ramp in clock speed, where PIII hit a wall at 1GHz.
Then against Netburst it was a leapfrog game, where eventually K7 lost due to the slower FSB, even though the Barton core was competitive with Northwood.

Right on... the original Slot A Athlon destroyed the Pentium II and even the Pentium 3. The Athlon (thunderbird) continued it's dominiance over the pentium 3's.

Also... his statement that the K6 was better than the Pentium Pro... the K6 was never meant to compete w/ Pentium Pro. They were two completely difference echelons of CPU's. The K6 competed w/ the Pentium MMX... and when the K6-2 came out, it's price/performance ratio destroyed the Slot 1 Pentium II's.
July 20, 2006 2:46:54 PM

I just want to say thanks to everyone for keeping this thread very, very nice. I haven't seen a nasty post yet on this topic... which is obviously very controversial.

-mpjesse
July 20, 2006 3:21:20 PM

Nobody has been forcing anybody else to buy Intel products. It's what the market wants. If not, they wouldn't be able to ship so many. Simple as that.

Core 2 doesn't show that Intel is a monopoly, it shows they know how to design a better chip than AMD. They each only offer marginal improvements over each other so that THEY DON'T BECOME A MONOPOLY. Intel could rape AMD and send them packing, but they won't. There's no point. It woul donly further their financial loss by having to refinance AMD again and give them more free research and product designs.

Seriously, if it wasn't for Intel, AMD wouldn't still exist. And that goes for the entire x86 line of AMD chips . . . well pretty much all of them.

AMD and Intel don't want to force each other out of the market, which is why when I hear "OH MAN AMD IS T3H PWN INTEL IS GUNNA SHUT D0WN OMG BBQ!!!" I feel the need to stab someone in the face. Seriously, how can they be so stupid? If Intel left the market, AMD would have to finance Intel or VIA to become a competitor and give them free research and designs in order to become a competitor, not only because of THE GOVERNMENT, but also because no computer supplier wants to be monopolized with one chip supplier. Dell has always had the option of using AMD, and they weren't being owned by Intel, rather the other way around, so don't try to use that.

Intel is not a monopoly, and neither company is leaving the market. GET OVER IT.

Quote:
But something changed, didn't it? While Intel was out screwing around, AMD was working hard on Hammer and Clawhammer (Opteron and A64). Soon after the A64 and Opteron were released, Intel began losing significant market share. To further exacerbate things, the industry quickly adopted x86-64 over IA-64. Eventually Intel was forced to reverse engineer x86-64 and put it into all of its products. (I believe this to be a bigger blow to Intel's ego than most think.) It was quickly evident that Intel needed to respond in a big way. Conroe is that big way. With Conroe, we've been shown just how competitive and innovative a big company like Intel can get when it really tries. But for the past 7 years, Intel has had very little reason to be truly innovative.


x86-64 was adopted over IA-64 because IA-64 is a pure 64-bit platform. x86-64 is a few registers and an instruction set, compatible with 32-bit processors. The only thing IA-64 is built into are the Itanium series, which have poor 32-bit performance and are RISC processors. I'm sure IA-64 would have been adopted had Intel even tried to make it popular on x86 processors.
July 20, 2006 3:33:33 PM

Quote:
The question begs to be discussed. Has Conroe only reinforced AMD's case that Intel is a monopoly?
By releasing a new processor and trying to be competitive, they are not being a monopoly; telling retailers to not sell AMD products, is behavior of a monopoly.
July 20, 2006 3:56:09 PM

Quote:
I’ve also made the auto maker analogy several times.

I knew I saw the "Auto Industry" discussion on one of these threads somewhere. You obviously remember lot's more details of that era than I do. Great info, and a very appropriate analogy I think!
a c 99 à CPUs
July 20, 2006 3:57:01 PM

Well, you can be a monopoly without being the *sole* provider of a good or service. For example nobody can really argue that Microsoft is not a monopoly- even though there are lots of other OSes out there and some are even free for the taking. A monopoly is generally defined by the economists to be a company that has enough market share to control the market regardless of what other companies in the field (if they exist) try to do.

The monopoly influence of Intel here has to do with volume discounts and exclusivity arrangements. MSFT certainly has that clout- they offer OEMs a lower price on Windows if they only sell Windows on any and all computers for home use. Since PC maker margins are so thin, unless only a handful of people wanted Windows, the manufacturers would be in the red when they compete with other manufacturers selling Windows machines. So they get locked in- that is the monopoly influence there. I think that if any of the allegations that AMD and the German courts made against Intel are true, Intel certainly does this also. They have been accused of paying OEMs to only let something like 5-15% of their computers ship with non-Intel processors or give very steep retroactive discounts on all processors in a batch if they sell X percent or better of Intel chips in their computers. The margins are again so thin that a manufacturer would have to go all AMD or all Intel or lose their shirt in dealing with Intel.
July 20, 2006 4:03:13 PM

Quote:

x86-64 was adopted over IA-64 because IA-64 is a pure 64-bit platform. x86-64 is a few registers and an instruction set, compatible with 32-bit processors. The only thing IA-64 is built into are the Itanium series, which have poor 32-bit performance and are RISC processors. I'm sure IA-64 would have been adopted had Intel even tried to make it popular on x86 processors.

That's a kind of contradiction.
IA-64 has nothing to do with x86, x86 is a CISC instruction set which slowly started to integrate RISC-like features (SSE for example) and which runs on sophisticated processor which do CISC->RISC decoding on the fly.
IA-64 is a strange beast which is closest to a VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) instruction set, with some innovative features like speculation and predication (IA-64 can, instead of predicting a branch result, execute both paths in parallel).
To include IA-64 support into an x86 processor, they should have included a full Itanium core into your already hot and expensive Pentium 4 :lol: 
Seriously, the only thing they could have done to improve it's acceptance, was to pursue some kind of code-morphing technique (like Transmeta CPUs) on the Itanium platform, but anyway the performance would have been hardly satisfactory (and to my knowledge, Itaniums can run x86 code, through emulation, rather slowly).
I think Intel's plan was more to gradually phase out x86 (since x86 is totally crap and a heavy burden for our desktop CPUs, performancewise), in case IA-64 would have reached enough industry acceptance and momentum, but unfortunately the commercial result was a flop.
!