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Intel: The chipset is the product



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 26th 04, 11:29 AM
Grumble
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Default Intel: The chipset is the product

Robert Myers wrote:

The _other_ company sells performance. We sell dreams. :-).


My, oh my. Are we in a trolling mood or what!

:-)

  #2  
Old May 26th 04, 04:22 PM
Robert Myers
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Grumble wrote:
Robert Myers wrote:

The _other_ company sells performance. We sell dreams. :-).



My, oh my. Are we in a trolling mood or what!

:-)


The implication being that selling dreams over performance is a bad
thing? I don't happen to think it is.

Intel's Chief Architect of the P4 era says that he warned Intel
management that the NetBurst architecture had bought them some breathing
room--a few years at most.

The players in the Intel architecture mini-drama seem to an outsider as
if they might be stubbornly goal-oriented, but they don't, any of them,
seem inept.

Intel sometimes seems to act as if it could rearrange virtually
anything, including physics, to suit its market objectives. Anybody
knows that, in a showdown between physics and marketing, physics wins.

Except if you're Intel, apparently. :-).

Over the long haul, if people really need performance, and Intel can't
deliver it, Intel is in trouble. On the short haul, it would be
difficult and dangerous for Intel to try to persuade people that it is
silly for them to focus on performance differences they will never
notice. In a year or two, Intel might be right back where it was with
P4, trying to convince them that a 2.4GHz CPU was faster than a 1.7Ghz
CPU in a way that justified an upgrade. Right now, though, Intel needs
to get its customers to think about something other than single-threaded
performance without engaging in tedious and dangerous explanations.

Intel has big architectural changes in mind: offloading significant
pieces of work, like network processing, from the main CPU. If Intel
were giving advice in "The Graduate," it would be whispering
"Multi-threading." Intel has the clout to make a major change in
programming style like that stick, but even Intel can't make it happen
overnight. In the short haul, Intel has to concede single-threaded
performance to AMD and to get its customers to think about something
else. It looks to me as if they understood exactly what they need to
do, and they are doing it.

Eventually, Intel will be back to selling performance, but the kind of
performance it will have to sell is going to require significant
customer education.

The consumer CPU business may repeat the mistake of HPC and try to force
a vector quantity (usable performance) into a nearly meaningless scalar
(linpack, top 500, etc.), but I can hope not. With any luck, Intel will
be able to move the focus off single-threaded performance and things
that look like stand-ins for single-threaded performance onto more
sophisticated measures of value.

Sophistication in measuring value is great conversation for hardware
groups on Usenet, but when you're trying to make a sale, you don't want
the party reaching for his or her credit card to be thinking about
complexity. In such a circumstance, dreams are the preferred commodity
to be offering for sale.

RM

  #3  
Old May 27th 04, 03:35 AM
George Macdonald
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On Wed, 26 May 2004 00:21:32 GMT, Robert Myers
wrote:

What do you do when you're having competitive problems with your main
product and there is no guaranteed relief in sight?

You change the subject. At least, that's what I infer Intel to be doing
with Grantsdale:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...h/news/2591485


Hmm, Centrino for the desktop? All they need is a name for the "package"
now. Any guesses... anybody?

Where do they get this stuff: "Because the chip set incorporates features
like Dolby audio and advanced 3-D video previously found only in add-on
cards..."? Wot a loada BULL****! Intel plays catch-up and a buncha
anal...ysts drop their drawers in public!!! How embarrassing.

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
  #4  
Old May 27th 04, 05:57 AM
Yousuf Khan
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Robert Myers wrote:
What do you do when you're having competitive problems with your main
product and there is no guaranteed relief in sight?

You change the subject. At least, that's what I infer Intel to be
doing with Grantsdale:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...h/news/2591485


They've already had experience hyping a chipset, otherwise known as
Centrino. They'll have to come up with a slick moniker for Grantsdale too. I
wonder if they're going to do like in the Centrino campaign, start
emphasizing the whole processor/chipset combo? They certainly can't hype the
Pentium 4 Prescott as it now stands -- it's a big embarrassment for them.
Perhaps with a re-emphasis on a chipset combo, rather than a processor, they
can easily take people's focus off of the actual processor and slip the old
processor away (Prescott), and replace it with a new processor (Dothan)
without people noticing? Prestidigitation.

Yousuf Khan


  #5  
Old May 27th 04, 06:29 AM
Robert Myers
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George Macdonald wrote:
On Wed, 26 May 2004 00:21:32 GMT, Robert Myers
wrote:


What do you do when you're having competitive problems with your main
product and there is no guaranteed relief in sight?

You change the subject. At least, that's what I infer Intel to be doing
with Grantsdale:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...h/news/2591485



Hmm, Centrino for the desktop? All they need is a name for the "package"
now. Any guesses... anybody?


Since picking a brand name is a big deal these days (there are IP issues
with practically any name you can think of), and since there is so
little time, one suspects that Intel is going to have to do without. If
this weren't a hurry-up job, they'd have a brand name ready and we'd
have been exposed to it dozens of times by now. Think of the marketing
barrage that preceded Centrino.

Where do they get this stuff: "Because the chip set incorporates features
like Dolby audio and advanced 3-D video previously found only in add-on
cards..."?


They get it from the press release, one gathers. I haven't yet found
the culpable press release on Intel's site, though.

Wot a loada BULL****! Intel plays catch-up and a buncha
anal...ysts drop their drawers in public!!! How embarrassing.


You worry me sometimes. Can't you just relax and enjoy the show? :-).

RM



  #6  
Old May 27th 04, 02:05 PM
chrisv
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Robert Myers wrote:

The features in Grantsdale also could help persuade shoppers to seek out
Intel-based computers, said Intel spokeswoman Laura Anderson. That may
also steer shoppers away from PCs built with chips from rival Advanced
Micro Devices Inc..


Not to appear to defend a bunch of marketing BS, but some of us do
shop the chipset, obviously. Intel chipsets are the reason I've
always been an Intel customer. In fact, lately I've been buying
Intel-branded motherboards, confident in their quality, and confident
that if/when I install Linux on them, they'll be completely supported.
(I'm responsible for quite a number of computers at home and work.)

I just haven't seen a need to look elsewhere, recently. It's not like
I'd actually notice the 10% improvement in performance that I'd get by
going with AMD and a brand-X chipset (given equal dollars). Looking
forward, it appears that Intel may be in trouble with the lame
Prescott going against the superb Athlon 64, and I could live with an
Nvidia chipset... I'll cross that bridge when I'm next in the market
for a home machine.

No flames, please, we're all entitled to our opinions.

  #7  
Old May 27th 04, 04:10 PM
Robert Myers
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chrisv wrote:
Robert Myers wrote:


The features in Grantsdale also could help persuade shoppers to seek out
Intel-based computers, said Intel spokeswoman Laura Anderson. That may
also steer shoppers away from PCs built with chips from rival Advanced
Micro Devices Inc..



Not to appear to defend a bunch of marketing BS, but some of us do
shop the chipset, obviously. Intel chipsets are the reason I've
always been an Intel customer. In fact, lately I've been buying
Intel-branded motherboards, confident in their quality, and confident
that if/when I install Linux on them, they'll be completely supported.
(I'm responsible for quite a number of computers at home and work.)

I just haven't seen a need to look elsewhere, recently. It's not like
I'd actually notice the 10% improvement in performance that I'd get by
going with AMD and a brand-X chipset (given equal dollars). Looking
forward, it appears that Intel may be in trouble with the lame
Prescott going against the superb Athlon 64, and I could live with an
Nvidia chipset... I'll cross that bridge when I'm next in the market
for a home machine.

No flames, please, we're all entitled to our opinions.


Why flame everyday good sense? Who could argue that Prescott is not a
disappointment or that the chipset is not an important part of a
purchase decision for a knowledgeable buyer?

If you look at what Intel is doing as purely a marketing ploy, it's
fairly transparent and easy to make fun of. If the market for PC-type
processors were mature (and some people do think it is), we should be
preparing for a future of Coke vs. Pepsi and Hertz vs. Avis marketing
campaigns.

As I read the signs and portents coming from both Intel and IBM, though,
the technology should not be taken to be mature and the market could be
headed for chaos.

In particular, the von Neumann architecture is a technological dead end
as far as increasing the power of microprocessors is concerned. It's a
dead end because, while there may be a few more doublings left in
Moore's law, the von Neumann architecture is already having trouble
making good use of the available transistors for a number of reasons:
heat, leakage, and the inevitable triumph of wire delay come to mind first.

If Intel wants buyers to think about upgrading for more power, it is
going to have to get buyers to think about something more complex than a
more powerful single-threaded x86 processor. It's not a problem Intel
is facing by itself. IBM, on whom AMD is reliant at the moment for
process technology, is having problems with scaling, too. It is hard to
imagine that AMD is not going to run into the same brick wall as Intel,
albeit more slowly because AMD did not make the self-destructive choice
that Intel did: to get to a faster clock at all costs.

If the von Neumann architecture is running out of steam, and if
entertainment is the future, then the future of x86 for "personal"
computing has to be threatened, too. In a universe of wild imagining,
maybe Sony/Toshiba/IBM, not AMD, is the real threat to Intel's dominance.

Not likely, but Intel would have its work cut out for it in the
"personal" computing business even without AMD: either people are going
to lose interest, the business will become a true commodity dominated by
the likes of VIA and Red Dragon, or Intel has to come up with something
to match the hype of a Cell because that's how much razzle dazzle it
will require to keep Intel in the style to which it has become accustomed.

No two ways about it, the disappointing performance of Prescott matched
against the technological success of AMD/IBM have forced Intel to
scramble, but it's a reasonable guess that Intel has actually known for
a while in what direction it was going to scramble when forced. The
fact that Intel didn't take the future they've been hinting about
seriously enough to come up with a more mature marketing campaign does
suggest a certain level of denial at the highest levels of Intel
management, though. ;-).

RM

  #8  
Old May 27th 04, 04:20 PM
Neil Maxwell
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On Thu, 27 May 2004 04:57:21 GMT, "Yousuf Khan"
wrote:

They've already had experience hyping a chipset, otherwise known as
Centrino. They'll have to come up with a slick moniker for Grantsdale too. I
wonder if they're going to do like in the Centrino campaign, start
emphasizing the whole processor/chipset combo?


There's been a tendency to capitalize on existing successful branding
campaigns - look at the life of the Pentium name, which was originally
just a replacement for '586. That would argue for the possibility of
names such as Centrino-D (for desktop), Centrino II, and such. One
thing the marketeers are aware of is the risk of confusing your
non-technical customers with too many name brands. You want them to
go "Oh, sure. Centrino. That's good, right? And Centrino II must be
better!"


Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  #9  
Old May 27th 04, 04:36 PM
Yousuf Khan
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chrisv wrote:
I just haven't seen a need to look elsewhere, recently. It's not like
I'd actually notice the 10% improvement in performance that I'd get by
going with AMD and a brand-X chipset (given equal dollars). Looking
forward, it appears that Intel may be in trouble with the lame
Prescott going against the superb Athlon 64, and I could live with an
Nvidia chipset... I'll cross that bridge when I'm next in the market
for a home machine.


As they say, if you don't try any other products other than the ones you're
comfortable with, then how are you ever going to know the quality of the
competing products?

Yousuf Khan


  #10  
Old May 27th 04, 04:38 PM
Yousuf Khan
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Robert Myers wrote:
As I read the signs and portents coming from both Intel and IBM,
though, the technology should not be taken to be mature and the
market could be headed for chaos.


Why because they're having trouble getting good power consumption out of
their 90nm processes? What relevance has that got with whether the
technology is mature or not? The technology itself is mature because it's
been around forever. Nobody cares how it's made though.

In particular, the von Neumann architecture is a technological dead
end


Wow, I'm not even touching that. Where'd that come from?

No two ways about it, the disappointing performance of Prescott
matched against the technological success of AMD/IBM have forced
Intel to scramble, but it's a reasonable guess that Intel has
actually known for
a while in what direction it was going to scramble when forced. The
fact that Intel didn't take the future they've been hinting about
seriously enough to come up with a more mature marketing campaign does
suggest a certain level of denial at the highest levels of Intel
management, though. ;-).


I'm sure the scenarios have been played out within Intel for some time.
Knowing about all of the possible scenarios is one thing, but knowing
exactly which scenario is going to play out is to become god.

Yousuf Khan


 




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