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Subject: Re: Introducing "No-Moore's Law"

Author: Jeremiah Penery

Date: 19:05:39 03/03/03

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On March 02, 2003 at 23:43:41, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>On March 02, 2003 at 22:18:35, Jeremiah Penery wrote:
>
>>On March 02, 2003 at 10:34:23, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>
>>>On March 02, 2003 at 02:02:39, Jeremiah Penery wrote:
>>>
>>>>On March 01, 2003 at 20:23:24, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>I consider Intel a "name brand".  I consider AMD a "copier".  Nothing wrong with
>>>>>being a "copier" but it also means you are a "follower".  And 2nd place is all
>>>>>that a follower can _ever_ reach...
>>>>
>>>>Matt already said most of what I wanted to say, so I will just give some
>>>>examples of 'follower' companies that eclipsed (or at least achieved parity)
>>>>with their 'leaders':
>>>>
>>>>AOL, Dell, Boeing, International Paper, Exxon-Mobil, Wal-Mart, Visa, Federal
>>>>Express, FOX (television network)...  The list can go on.
>>>
>>>Not the same thing.  _no_ "innovation_.
>>
>>No innovation where?  AMD?  That's so laughable, I don't know where to begin.
>
>Begin by learning to read and comprehend.

Perhaps you should learn to write.

Sorry, I'm not a mind reader.  I can't divine information from a two word
sentence given absolutely zero context.

>  In your list above, did you mention
>AMD?  Then why would you think my comment was about AMD?

Because the entire discussion was about AMD...  Perhaps you noticed my question
mark?  But saying any of those other companies haven't been highly innovative is
also laughable.

>It was about (for example) Wal-Mart.  They are _not_ copying another operation.

No?  There weren't other large-scale discount retailers before them?  I can name
more than a few.  Even if they didn't copy someone, how does it say they exhibit
'no innovation'?

>They are a retail seller.  What did Boeing copy?  The 707?  First commercial
>jet airliner?  Visa?  None of those are "innovation-heavy" things.  They are
>simply businesses.

Which ones aren't innovation-heavy?  To claim that any company who has emerged
to market _dominance_, in ANY field, hasn't innovated a great deal is, again,
laughable.

>Intel _defines_ the X86 architecture, because they _are_ the X86
>architects.  Anybody making compatibles (AMD) is _following_.  Which means

They invented it, but that doesn't mean much anymore.  They continue to be able
to define it only because they sell more processors.  X86-64 is making a big
break with this, and it has a ton of industry support.

>they will always be "behind".  Because Intel will change the specs, and start
>shipping chips, and AMD has to quickly catch up.  That's just the way it is
>when you are copying your competition's product exactly...

Intel isn't forced to license the instructions (SSE, SSE2, etc.) to AMD.  If
they really thought that supporting some instructions that AMD doesn't support
would be crushing, they wouldn't license the instructions.

Here's something funny.  The x86 ISA requires that when an FPU exception occurs,
a certain instruction can read what instruction caused it, and where it
happened.  Pentium4 can't do this.  So can we call the P4 incompatible with x86?
:)

>For example, automobiles are different.  Because one vendor doesn't set the
>specification _precisely_ and then everyone else has to match _exactly_.

Cars all have to have certain parts - engines, tires, etc.  x86 processors all
have to support certain instructions - ADD, MOV, etc.  That's all.

The instructions a processor executes don't define the processor.  Otherwise,
there wouldn't be such radically different designs as the P4 and the Crusoe,
among others, both executing the same instructions.

>>Several companies had commercial aircraft before Boeing.
>
>Who made the first commercial jet airliner?  'nuff said.

De Havilland, not Boeing.

>If there were analogous cases to Intel/AMD, I'd buy it.  But name _one_
>field where one company gets to design the specifications, change them when
>they want, and that must be followed _exactly_ by the competition.  Where

But it's not true that AMD has to follow _exactly_.  When they do, it usually
comes at a leisurely pace.  It's not like they're forced to introduce new
instructions sets within a week of Intel, or lose market share because of it.

>>>Dell is hardly a "follower".  They jumped into the PC manufacturing world,
>>>but they've done plenty of innovation, from custom machines/motherboards/
>>>etc to customer support.
>>
>>But they were still PCs, compatible with several other companies' PCs.  If you
>>claim AMD is a follower because they release a product compatible with another
>>companies product, Dell becomes a follower by your definition.
>
>
>But nobody gets to say "A PC must look exactly like this" and force Dell to
>build _exactly_ that.

You might be surprised at what Dell would do for a very large customer.  I work
at HP, and I see the stuff they do for customers every day.  I would have never
believed it before seeing it.

>  There are a few "givens" that all manufacturers have
>to deal with.  But only a few.  Processor = X86 or compatible.  Some form of
>off-the-shelf FAM.  One of dozens of disk drives and drive interfaces.  Ditto
>for CD/DVD/etc.

And for x86 processors, the only "givens" are the x86 instructions.  Intel
doesn't get to tell AMD what its processors will look like, or how it executes
those instructions, or how much cache it will use, or anything else.

>>>But _none_ of those vendors build a product that their competition is forced to
>>>copy exclusively.  As Intel is doing.  They were at the right place, at the
>>>right time (yes, I would have preferred that Motorola had been the PC processor
>>>of choice as it is a better ISA) and they now define the PC architecture.
>>
>>AMD does not exactly copy Intel processors, anymore than Boeing copied the DC-10
>>when they built the first 707.
>
>It is good that they didn't since the 707 was 20 years prior to the DC-10,
>maybe more like 30.  :)

Well, 15 years, but it's enough.

De Havilland Comet was the first commercial jet airliner, before the Boeing 707.
 Tupolev and Air France also had jet airliners before the 707.  My point still
stands.

>I said AMD _is_ following Intel.  And that is _clearly_ true.  Anyone that
>argues that point _is_ ignorant of important technical details.

It has much more to do with marketing details, rather than technical ones.

They're still not following Intel any more than Dell followed
Compaq/HP/IBM/etc., or any number of other companies that once followed their
market leader.



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