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sram

What happened to a once very competitive company!?

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IMO, they relaxed a bit, and didn't put out leading products fast enough, thus getting surpassed by the Core Duo, quad core cpu's, etc...

Not to mention, not enough top tier OEM wins...

Even with their 4-core procs coming out around Christmas, I dont think it can pull them out of the hole they are in now.

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In business terms, they are trying to maximize their returns on the investment in k7/8. Intel and AMD seem to leapfrog each other every year or so. I expect to see some significant advances from AMD in the next year. In 3 years, Intel will have it back.

Frank

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To have great products, you must first come up with a Great Idea. Otherwise, you're just achieving technicial improvements, but not really doing anything truly innovative, while you wait around for the next Great Idea.

Once you have a Great Idea, you must take it from vision to reality by designing the chip and deciding how are you are actually going to engineer it. This involves decisions regarding process technology to use (since you are trying to predict what will be readily available when you actually get to the point of the process where you're ready to manufacture), trying to maximize real world performance gains from the implementation, maintaining or reducing thermal and power envelopes, etc. IIRC, this is why I have heard the figure of 5 years used from initial thought to final production stage of a new chip.

Intel had a long phase where their lack of vision and innovation led them down the rabbit hole of chasing megahertz for performance with the NetBurst architecture. Ultimately, their plans failed to come to fruition because the anticipation of being able to reach 10 GHz clock speed simply wasn't achievable with current technology.

Personally, I think AMD is still well in the running. Their acquisition of ATi will lead to a GPU being included first "on die", and then "on chip" as greater integration is achieved. Once achieved, this will certainly result in higher performance for integrated graphics in the business desktop segment, which is the big OEM market that AMD is trying to achieve greater penetration in.

On the server side, I think you can make a good argument that their architecture results in better scaling (since you add memory controllers and, therefore, bandwidth, as you add CPUs) and is a more elegant solution from a technical viewpoint, with cache coherency being handled easily up to 8 CPUs on a motherboard, and CPUs communicating with each other over dedicated HyperTransport links. This seems to be in stark contrast to Intel, which is only now beginning to explore having multiple Front Side Busses to increase the amount of bandwidth available, and then wastes some of the limited memory bandwidth available on Inter-Processor Communication.

With major OEMs now willing to support AMD based systems, I certainly believe that the path AMD is following seems to offer great rewards provided that they can execute properly (on time, on budget, performance gains match what is expected, etc).

I believe that AMD has the long term advantage in terms of innovative thinking.

In the short-term, Intel has the advantage in absolute performance terms, but even this may also change as Barcelona and its related architectures become available.

In summary, I certainly wouldn't count AMD out of the game at this point.

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Personally, I think AMD is still well in the running. Their acquisition of ATi will lead to a GPU being included first "on die", and then "on chip" as greater integration is achieved. Once achieved, this will certainly result in higher performance for integrated graphics in the business desktop segment, which is the big OEM market that AMD is trying to achieve greater penetration in.

On die and on chip are the same thing. It's on module/package first.

And performance doesn't matter (much) for IGP, especially for business users.

I also wonder why performance would be better. Memory access for the video chip will be a bit faster, but that just returns to the performance it was when the memory controller was still in the northbridge.

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While Intel may have the lead at the top of the pack, AMD is still a better bang for the buck in the low to mid range. So, unless you are buying a cutting edge PC, AMD is still the way to go.

When you look at most CPU reviews, they focus on the latest and greatest. I don't think I've ever bought a desktop CPU that cost more than $300, most probably costing less than $200. In that segment, AMD is still the performance leader. Also, the AMD platform is generally more energy efficient. If you compare total system power consumption of equally performing platforms, the AMD is still more efficient. I'm not entirely sure why as the Intel CPU's are supposed to have lower TDP's, but it's probably partly due to the integrated memory controller. With the Intel platform, the memory controller is part of the chipset on the MB, so the TDP of the CPU appears lower.

Also, it was just a matter of time before Intel finally clued into the fact that Netburst was a bust. They finally dropped that and completely changed their whole CPU philosophy. That only happened because of AMD. Give AMD about a year, and they'll have something at the top again. In a competitive market, the leader is always going to bounce back and forth.

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Personally, I think AMD is still well in the running. Their acquisition of ATi will lead to a GPU being included first "on die", and then "on chip" as greater integration is achieved. Once achieved, this will certainly result in higher performance for integrated graphics in the business desktop segment, which is the big OEM market that AMD is trying to achieve greater penetration in.

On die and on chip are the same thing. It's on module/package first.

And performance doesn't matter (much) for IGP, especially for business users.

I also wonder why performance would be better. Memory access for the video chip will be a bit faster, but that just returns to the performance it was when the memory controller was still in the northbridge.

I was under the impression that "on die" was when you simply took an existing design and placed it on the same die with, for example, a CPU, *without* doing any large-scale integration, and simply having both physically present and connected, whereas "on chip" implies a great desl of large-scale integration to achieve higher performance and take advantage of synergies.

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To put something on the same die does take a massive amount of forethought and integration. The power grid alone has to be custom made to supply ample power to anything on the silicon. Also, you cannot just plop two separate mask designs on the same silicon and expect to package them in the same uhh... package. Each design has their own i/o cells and contact pads. It would be very difficult to link to two sets of contact pads in the same package.

Now days, they are doing something similar with die stacking. They grind down the individual wafer really thin and make connections between the thin wavers using micro vias. That is the only technology I know of that allows multiple designs or wafers in the same package.

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I was under the impression that "on die" was when you simply took an existing design and placed it on the same die with, for example, a CPU, *without* doing any large-scale integration, and simply having both physically present and connected, whereas "on chip" implies a great desl of large-scale integration to achieve higher performance and take advantage of synergies.

I've never heard about that distinction.

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