Computer Chess Club Archives




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

Author: Keith Evans

Date: 07:34:16 03/07/03

Go up one level in this thread

On March 06, 2003 at 18:23:59, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>On March 06, 2003 at 17:47:45, Jeremiah Penery wrote:
>>On March 06, 2003 at 11:48:47, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>>On March 05, 2003 at 22:38:44, Jeremiah Penery wrote:
>>>>On March 05, 2003 at 18:26:10, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>>>>The point of my comments is that Intel sets a sort of standard, and if someone
>>>>>follows along,
>>>>>but are not quite all there, it can cause problems.  I had this problem with
>>>>>Cyrix years ago as
>>>>>their 387's were actually more accurate than Intel's, not to mention faster.
>>>>>And they would
>>>>>make every diagnostic program on the planet sound the alarm with floating point
>>>>>errors.  :)
>>>>>And I got tired of the phone calls asking about it and quit recommending them.
>>>>Why should a company be penalized for making a better product?
>>>Making a processor that is "PII-compatible" but really isn't, is "better"?
>>>My point.
>>Please, Bob, you're forgetting to read again.  You gave the example of Cyrix
>>being better, and being penalized for it.
>No.  "better" is a relative term.  If it is "better but incompatible" then it is
>not "better".  Which was my point.  AMD may well be faster than Intel.  The K6
>have been faster than the PII.  But it had a compatibility issue.

In the distant past I worked at a company called Weitek that got into the Sparc
business. We made a chip that was basically second sourced by another
company, except that ours was "better." I forget how but you could enable
a mode where certain numeric instructions would execute faster then the
competition's part. Sun said - we don't like that, get rid of it. We don't
want somebody returning a machine because it has the slower part - every
machine needs to be identical to the end user.

It was so obvious in retrospect, but I remember at the time engineers were
gloating about how we would crush the competition. And in the end it
was we who were crushed...

Not exactly what you're talking about, but the definition of "better" isn't
always clear.


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