Daily Archives: March 17, 2008

Intel will take on AMD, Nvidia head to head

THE CHIP called Larrabee will have so many notches on its gun that there will likely be a gunfight at the not-so-OK corral between Intel, AMD and Nvidia next year.

Today, Stephen Smith, VP of Intel’s Digital Enterprise division, told me that Larrabee, which the firm will demo later this year, will allow the firm to build discrete graphics cards. Products will follow, and that probably means 2009.

So that will mean that it will have graphics products to compete against Nvidia and ATI.

Making 2009 an interesting year in the already highly competitive graphics market.
Larrabee will be vector based, and use shared cache across multiple cores.

Smith also disclosed some details about Nehalem’s successors. It will be followed by a 32 nanometre chip called Westmere, and Sandy Bridges in 2010. Tock. Tick. ♣


Intel Larrabee stories go missing in cyberspace

WE’VE EAGERLY been waiting to see stories from the Intel Nehalem and Larrabee press briefing today but Google has been titillating us with tales that go nowhere.

A search on the Googlemat for Nehalem a few minutes back reveals one from Rogister Hardware filed three hours ago, but with a link that goes to a 404. A similar phenomenon happened with an IT Week story, filed 24 minutes ago.

We wonder if there’s been an embargo SNAFU, perhaps? ♥

Microsoft, Novell antitrust case grinds on

THE SUPREME COURT told Microsoft that it wouldn’t squish an antitrust case that Novell brought against it in 2004.

Novell claims that the Vole destroyed its Wordperfect and Quattro Pro programs because they didn’t have to run on Windows.Microsoft claimed that because Novell wasn’t in the OS business, it can’t have come to harm.

The irony being that Novell was in the OS business for quite a while, but certainly not in 2004.

The case continues. ♣

There’s more to beer than Kingfisher

KINGFISHER is probably one of the best known Indian beers there is. But there’s more to Indian beer than Kingfisher.

The Kingfisher airline in India is owned by the same guy that brews the beer. But you can’t drink his beer on the frights, because consumption of alcohol on domestic flights is forbidden. However, it’s likely in August that Kingfisher will go international, so then you’ll be able to.

Last week we sampled two delights – Haywards 5000 and Knock Out. As you’ll gather from the latter, they’re pretty strong beers, and tasty too. They both deserve more exposure to the discerning connoisseur of beer [shorely lushes, Ed.].

We won’t mention Cobra here, because the Cobra you get in Blighty is brewed in Blighty. It was repackaged a few years ago, now where the Hindi for snake, Naga, was replaced by a Hindi transliteration of Cobra.

There are some fine Nepalese beers too. More power to their elbow! Hic. ♥

Intel, Microsoft to push multi-core programming

DON CLARK at the Wall Street Journal (sub required) seems to have got a press release about parallel computing earlier than anyone else today.

He writes that His Voleness and La Intella will announce a major investment to promote programming for multicore chips.

This will be led by boffins at Berkeley and there’s probably going to be a lot more money put in than the cash prizes of $250 AMD said it was offering a week or two back.

Intel – like AMD – is really hoist by its own petard. After running out of places to go in the megahurts wars, attention was turned to multicore chips, and no doubt we’ll probably see Intel “Atom” MIDs soon with multiple cores. But the big big problem is how to write software that will take advantage of these hardware capabilities.

And it’s not a new big big problem. Software boffins have struggled with the concept for years and years. The Journal quotes William Dally, a Stanford professor, as saying that while the chip makers are hurtling pell mell towards multicores, no one has a clue on how to program for them.

That no doubt includes Microsoft, which couldn’t even be bothered to program for Intel’s marketing scheme called HT – that’s hyperthreading, not hypertension – in the glory [surely gory, Ed.]  days of Chipzilla’s Pentium 4.♣

Bear Stearns sold for $2 a devastating share

JP MORGAN, propped up by the Federal Reserve, has bought Bear Stearns for $2 a share, giving it a value of $236 million rather than the $3.5 billion it was worth last Friday and the $2o billion it was worth a year ago.

The sale is a devastating indictment of the stupidity that made large financial institutions lend money to people who couldn’t repay the loans. The Federal Reserve will provide the not insignificant sum of $30 billion to cover Bear Stearns’ exposure in these so-called “sub prime” markets.

The alternative to flogging Bear Stearns was for the firm to go bust, with many analysts believing that the move heralds a deep US recession.

Shareholders in Bear Stearns are not at all happy with the sudden collapse of valuable equity to what is effectively junk. ♣