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

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 20:39:06 03/07/03

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On March 07, 2003 at 10:34:16, Keith Evans wrote:

>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
>>ultimately
>>not "better".  Which was my point.  AMD may well be faster than Intel.  The K6
>>may
>>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.

They also made a really good floating point processor.  We had a few machines
back in the 80's that had Weitek floating point hardware and they were fast
compared to non-Weitek FP stuff..  And I am not talking about 80387-type
co-processors of course...


>
>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.
>
>Regards,
>Keith



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