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Intel Reverse-Engineered AMD64

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April 6, 2004 8:56:35 AM

<A HREF="http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1561875,00.a..." target="_new"> Intel Reverse-Engineered AMD64 </A>

After investigating the instruction sets used by 64-bit chips from AMD and Intel, an industry analyst has concluded that Intel reverse-engineered the AMD64 instruction set to create its own 64-bit microprocessor architecture.

Tom Halfhill, an analyst at In-Stat/MDR in San Jose, said Monday that he had compared the instruction sets of AMD's 64-bit chips, called AMD64, with the 64-bit extensions to be used in the Intel Xeon processor and future desktop chips. The smoking gun, Halfhill said, was Intel's choice to mimic a decision AMD made in its early Opteron designs, and later reversed.

Speculation that Intel had reverse-engineered AMD's processor began circulating almost immediately after Intel announced its own 64-bit plans in February. AMD announced plans to develop its 64-bit Opteron processor, then code-named "Hammer", in Oct. 2001, and began shipping it in April 2003. Intel's "Nocona", the first chip to use its own 64-bit extensions, will launch this quarter with the Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology, or "Intel EM64T".

While exactly copying a processor's microarchitecture would be illegal, creating a compatible product through the use of an original "clean room" design is legally protected. According to Halfhill, Intel clearly reverse-engineered AMD's products, a tactic AMD and other X86 chip designers have used to quickly catch up to Intel's historical leadership in the design of new microprocessors.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
April 6, 2004 10:41:43 AM

Why would Intel do that ?


Toms Hardware Site is a joke !
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April 6, 2004 12:20:36 PM

Quote:
Why would Intel do that ?

To be 100% compatible with AMD64. Reverse ingenieering is an unusual process for many industries, not only high-tech/technology.

You often have to "copy" your competitor to give your customers the same features they offer. But you can't copy their designs. So you do reverse-ingenieering : you build/make the same feature by building your own design that do the same thing.

It's reverse-ingenieering that made "Compatible PC" an open architecture. Because one day, a company (I can't remember which one) reverse ingenieered the IBM-PC bios and made their own "Compatible PC" system.

Usually, reverse-ingenieering drives prices down or add more features to existing products. It's part of the competition.

What is funny this time is that the company that usually get COPIED is now the one who COPY! :smile:

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Would you buy a potato powered chipset?
April 6, 2004 6:08:57 PM

Re: It's reverse-ingenieering that made "Compatible PC" an open architecture. Because one day, a company (I can't remember which one) reverse ingenieered the IBM-PC bios and made their own "Compatible PC" system.

I'm not really sure here, but would it have been possible or legal to reverse engineer an apple computer back in 1981?

We are going way back in time here. I always thought the ibm x86 computer design was left as an open standard due to the time it would take for all the patents to be processed. I think it was the only way to catch up to the exploding in popularity apple computers of the day. This was possibly ibms largest mistake, a blessing for Microsoft and windows. I think the ibm x86 open standard was great for the computer industry over all though. Some people still call desktops ibm clones or compatibles.


If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
April 6, 2004 6:31:16 PM

Quote:
This was possibly ibms largest mistake, a blessing for Microsoft and windows.


The only mistake was made by Apple in that they didn't follow suit. If they had opened up their architecture for clones back then, the whole PC / Mac argument might be a completely different thing today.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
April 6, 2004 6:41:31 PM

Yup apple would probably be what every one has today. Apple probably would not have made as much on hardware due to all the competion but they would have made a killing with the OS if they had played their cards right. and marketed like microsoft did.

BTW what I said in the post above "Some people still call desktops ibm clones or compatibles".

Hows this for marketing.

Don't buy one of those cheap imatation clones get a genuine IBM PC.


If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
April 6, 2004 9:37:07 PM

Quote:
It's reverse-ingenieering that made "Compatible PC" an open architecture. Because one day, a company (I can't remember which one) reverse ingenieered the IBM-PC bios and made their own "Compatible PC" system.




it was Cyrix wasnt it?

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<A HREF="http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/you.html" target="_new">please dont click here! </A>
April 6, 2004 10:58:30 PM

I'm not so sure it was actually reverse engineered. It was Compaq that cloned the first IBM PC. IBM had been buying processors from Intel prior to the IBM PC. Once IBM decided to build the PC they wanted to bring the Personal computer to market in less than a year.

In order to meet the schedule it had to abandon the course of doing all the hardware and software itself. So IBM had elected to build its pc mainly from off the self components available to anyone. This made a platform that was fundamentally open, which made it easy to copy.. I think IBM used the 8088 chip from Intel. a couple of years later they used the Intel 80286 (286). a couple of years later 3 engineers left their jobs at Texas instruments and formed a new company Compaq and cloned (not reverse engineer) the IBM pc using the 386. and it all went from there

If a company reverse engineered say itainium I don’t think they could use it cause it's proprietary stuff. just like apple was. That’s why Intel went Itainium rather than just going x86 64bit they want control so they can charge whatever they want. Because amd came out with athlon 64 and Microsoft said they would support it Intel had to support it as well to the determent of Itainium.

That’s my take on it anyway.


If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
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