Computer Chess Club Archives




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

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 19:56:50 03/05/03

Go up one level in this thread

On March 04, 2003 at 21:55:55, Jeremiah Penery wrote:

>On March 04, 2003 at 11:23:17, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>On March 03, 2003 at 22:05:39, Jeremiah Penery wrote:
>>>On March 02, 2003 at 23:43:41, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>>>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'?
>>What _technology_ are they copying?  Do they have to look _exactly_ like another
>>store in order to sell?  What _other_ stores have both normal merchandise _and_
>>grocery operations together?
>KMart, Target, Meijer, to name 3 off the top of my head.

We have K-marts all over the place here in alabama, most going out of
business.  No groceries in any of them.  Target is the same down here.
Big department store, but no groceries.  Never seen Meijer.

>>>>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,
>>Har-de-har-har.  There.  I laughed.  Happy?  Now tell me what precise
>>specifications Wal-Mart
>>has to follow in order to compete with another store?   Precisely how fast they
>>have to serve
>>a customer.  How many square feet for this department, how many for that?
>So tell me precicely how many cycles AMD processors have to execute each x86
>instruction, how much cache they must have, how many transistors they should
>use, and the core voltage they must use in order to be "compatible" by your

The precise specification is that written by Intel, which is my point.  A
program with timing loops is bad programming, but it still works on Intel
boxes if it is developed there.  It won't work on something that behaves
differently.  But, back to the _real_ point.  A cpu that supposedly competes
with the PII should be _compatible_ with the PII at any level of abstraction
a user might want.  All the way up to the output from a compiler that targets
the PII processor with an executable.  The K6 failed that test and led to some
bad vibes.

>>It's (again) _not_ the same thing and to claim it is is pretty funny.
>>Har-de-har-har again...
>You're making absurd comparisons.
>>>>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.
>>You need some business experience.  The issue is _timing_.  I can safely
>>deliver a version of Crafty today that has something nobody has seen before.
>>If it makes it better, I can sell many versions before everybody else figure
>>it out and "catch up".  The "window of opportunity" is what this is about, not
>>monopolistic practices..
>If you made patented advances in Crafty, which required licenses for the
>opponents to use, your window would be eternity if you wanted it to be.  That's
>the situation Intel is in.

And???  The window is there for the leader whether there are licensing issues
or not.

>>When Intel announces something "new" they have a window that stretches for
>>however long it
>>takes the opposition to implement the changes.  Or if they choose not to, they
>>can choose to
>>make those "changes" a big deal in advertising which will hurt the competition.
>>So the
>>followers have to follow for the most part.
>AMD _can't_ implement SSE (or whatever) unless Intel licenses it to them.  If it
>was that big of a deal, Intel wouldn't license it at all.

Why are we off onto SSE?  It hasn't been a problem.  Cmov _was_ a problem
that was documented and mentioned in many discussion groups.

>>>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?
>>Doesn't matter.  PIV is compatible with PIV.  It is the "leader".  It doesn't
>>matter what they
>>do, what matters is can the followers do it too so that they can sell???
>If you have software that depends on that feature, which worked on EVERY x86
>processor EVER, you'd call the P4 buggy.  P4 claims to be completely backward
>compatible (You even claimed earlier it was compatible with the old 4004), but
>it is demonstrably not in this instance.  You demonize AMD for claiming
>compatibility with the K6, and use buggy software as a demonstration that the
>claim is untrue.  But when the P4 is not even backward compatible (which is FAR
>more important) it's somehow ok?

I haven't "demonized" anyone.  I pointed out a specific problem that I had to
deal with.  One, a bad processor (K5).  Two, an incompatibility issue between
two supposedly "equal" processors, the K6 and the P2.  If that is "demonizing"
then I guess I did it, but that was not my intent.  It simply points out that
Intel is setting the "standard" because a program runs on _all_ their PII
processors, and when it doesn't run on a competitor's processor because they
_chose_ to leave something out, that can be an issue.

>>>>>Several companies had commercial aircraft before Boeing.
>>>>Who made the first commercial jet airliner?  'nuff said.
>>>De Havilland, not Boeing.
>>Eh?  First commercial/military jet I saw, as I grew up, was the 707.  If
>>beat them by a few months, oh well.  But they weren't _copying_ anything as
>>was nothing to copy.
>The DeHavilland Comet came out years before the 707.  Those other jet airliners
>I mentioned were also years before the 707.
>>Right.  Don't you think if they were _exact_ clones, just cheaper, they would be
>If that were so, WalMart brand tissues would outsell Kleenex, but I doubt they
>do.  It's about brand name.  You would buy Intel anyway, and so would a whole
>lot of other people, just because they're Intel.

Absolutely _wrong_.  We buy them because the name is "intel" _and_ we have had
good success using Intel.  They could be called stinkems instead of Intel and
if the reputation had been built over the 25-30 years of microprocessors, then
we'd all be buying stinkems instead.  The name is tied to success, and _that_
is what leads me back to them.  I will occasionally try new things, but when
things are critical, I want what works _first_ and I'll try something new when
I'm playing, to see if it works.

IBM had this same kind of reputation in the late 1960's through the 1970's,
for the same reason.

>>>>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.
>>Absolutely wrong.  What processor does Dell use?  They are following
>>_exactly_ in that a program that runs on a compaq will run on a dell with _zero_
>>changes of
>>any kind.  And that is the point of all this.
>They were once follower who became market leader - the thing you said was
>impossible.  That's the point of this statement.  I wasn't saying anything about

Again you put words in my mouth.  A "follower" _can_ become a leader.  In the
1950's and early 1960's, Univac was the number one data processing vendor
around.  They were displaced by IBM in the middle to late 1960's.  So it
happens.  But it happend (in the case of IBM) because they were _not_
following trying to make Univac boxes.  They made their own architecture,
proved it was better and cheaper, and dominated the market.

AMD apparently thinks it is more profitable to follow rather than to design
a _good_ architecture that would catch on.  Heaven knows the X86 ISA is a piece
of trash.  Kludge piled on top of kludge.  But it is what we have right now.

How can they innovate when they have to faithfully follow the intel ISA?  3dnow
is _dead_, for example.  Its dead because the ISA is intel's and nobody wants to
write a piece of code that is AMD-only, because the intel side of the market is
_way_ bigger.

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