Tag Archives: AMD

AMD reprises its not quite so finest hour

THE BEST THING to come out of the launch of the K5 was this pair of binoculars from AMD – I use them to watch the lovely lovely birds that populate my lovely garden here in Oxford.

The binoculars quickly focus on any old thing that’s flying around out there – truly AMD did a good job with this rev of the binocs. There’s not much horse racing going on out there, but then they are not 3D binoculars.

The second best thing is out of Old Taipei and is a health warning on the fags out there, that cost $NT75 – that’s less than £2 quid to you and me.  I am looking forward to using the K5 binocs to view the eclipse of the Moon, due any hour now…


Nigel Dessau’s AMD value proposition is something else

Someone who doesn’t wish to be benchmarked as a person has tuned us in and turned us on to Nigel Dessau’s ——-Three Minute Mentor.

Nigel is a marchitecture guy at AMD. Get ready for this. The latest – episode 24 – is “How do you write a value proposition”. I listened. I learned.

I learned that people need to be benchmarked. I learnt that in three minutes Nigel said the phrase “value proposition” 20 times in three minutes. Once every nine seconds. Now that’s value!

They do their atria so well in the USA

SO FOR THE first time in must be 16 or 17 years ago, we find ourselves in Austin, Texas.

The last time here, it was with IBM and they still were waxing lyrical about OS/2, bless it.

This time it’s with AMD, and I’m esconced in the Hyatt Regency, which has an atrium to be admired, with lifts whizzing up and down on the inside like there’s no tomorrow.

There is a tomorrow. Here’s a view of the inside of the hotel. We’re not far from the bridge of a million bats but we haven’t got to see them yet.

 

Intel recalls the days of Alpha, PA-RISC and Itanium

TO THE CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL, in Fitzrovia, to listen to what Intel had to say about its Xeon 5500 (Nehalem) launch and to customer testimonials.

I stayed at Myhotel Bloomsbury, next to a pub, and which used to be a cop shop. I bumped into Paul Hales and Sylvie Barak from Register Two, who were there, too.

Gathered in front of an assembly of British hackdom was Tom Kilroy, from Intel Stateside, who described the launch of the 5500 series as the most important launch since the Pentium Pro.

Ah! The Pentium Pro! I still somewhere have a keyring with a Pentium Pro and cache attached. Intel was forced, as I recall, to re-engineer this chip because there was a problem with the cache. Think someone from Compaq tipped me off on that, all those years ago.

This set me thinking quite a lot. Kilroy wheeled in people from the London Stock Exchange, from Thomson Reuters, and naturally its customers such as Dell and HP – curiously not Big Blue – gave their sales pitches too.

Kilroy was here (left)

Kilroy was here (left)

And as I thought of the implications of what Kilroy said – I couldn’t help wondering, of course, about the Itanium, a question formed in my mind, from whence it came, no one knows.

After showing us various benchmarks, which appeared to suggest that this was the best microprocessor Intel had ever fabricated, we had to start wondering about the Alpha chip “good until 2025” – said Richard George when he worked for DEC, and the PA-RISC chip. Because Intel seemed to be suggesting that this truly was a “mission critical CPU”. Why else would Mark Reece from the London Stock Exchange be there, otherwise?

The Hidden Agenda

The Hidden Agenda

After Kilroy told us that this was part of the “tick tock”  Captain Hook style Intel cadence,  we Brithacks sat patiently, waiting for the Q&A which never seemed to come.

The master of ceremonies eventually allowed a brief Q&A and pointed at me, Mikus Interruptus, saying: “Tom, would you now like to answer Mike’s question about the Itanium?”

Unfortunately my mind had moved on by then and I thought that perhaps a better question was how the financial meltdown had affected Intel’s business.

Said Kilroy: “Certainly there’s been an impact on demand”. The MC said: “Mike, we’re in our quiet period right now.”  Too late!

We finally got a chance to ask our question about whether “Nehalem” was a better chip than the Itanium, but phrased it whether it was a better chip than the PA-RISC chip – obviously with the Power 6 from IBM in mind. IBM was not, officially, represented at this gig.

Mr Kilroy said that the question didn’t really compute, because the Itanium offered stuff like RAS and you couldn’t compare a chip like the Nehalem with the Itanium.

Later, we had a chance to speak to a friend close to Hewlett Packard who told us it had told its customers last September the game was over for PA-RISC. But, we asked, it would have to support customers like the US government on both the PA-RISC chip and the DEC Alpha chip?  Yes, he admitted, that was true. The customers had the latest roadmap.

Do not forget, of course, that Carly Fiorina and the then CEO of Compaq, Mike Capellas, transacted an agreement that meant that, er, er, all things federal about microprocessors – apart from IBM – would belong to HP.

We bumped into a guy called Hugh Jenkins, who now works for the Great Satan of Hardware (Dell Inc). He said that of course Dell still uses AMD microprocessors for some of its server business. Er, BT seems to be an Intel only place, as far as we could tell.

Funny old business this, isn’t it? Intel served bucks fizz (mimosa) at the end. We’d already made our excuses and exeunted stage left before that was served.   

* Spotted from  other Magee spawned websites: Sylvie Barak (INQster), Chris Mellor (Rogister).

Pampered pooches nothing to do with AMD

ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES (AMD) used to rabbit on about the K9 chip, a follow-on to the K8 chip, but does so no more. Heck, we remember Jerry Sanders III telling us in 1991 that by the millennium the K9 would integrate just about anything.

The K9 chip has nothing on K-9knickers.com, however, we think you’ll agree. Only in downtown Brasilia, where we’ve even seen people with toilet paper wiping the bums of their cute little doggies.

k9

INQUIRER editor gives Examiner editor the bird

THE FIRST PUBCAST has come to pass but it has happened here, on my very own bog.

Paul Hales, the editor of the INQ (founder: M.Magee) decided to join the Old Farts at the Globe Tavern opposite Baker Street yesterday evening.

Hales wasn’t a happy bunny. But at least he had the grace to respond to our request for a live interview, complete with sound effects. Just a second later, he grinned and gave us the finger twice. But we’ve cut that bit out, because this is a family bog.  The vid was produced with the fantastic Flip device – it plugs into your USB port, the sound is pretty good, and the vid quality isn’t bad either. The software is on the machine and it takes a couple of batteries which generate an hour of video. What’s inside this cheap device?

With apologies to Intel for the dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum thingie. It was playing loudly on the pub TV while we were filming. The finger is here.  

The strange story of moist snuff, Carly Fiorina and Hector Ruiz

AT THE INQSTER we covered the antitrust trial against Intel by AMD in some depth. Now we have seen the latest deposition which is smeared with black blocks – called redaction – a sort of masking tape of the juiciest bits in the case.

Some gems remain in the acres of text covered in masking tape. On page 29 of the filing, the plaintiff’s joint preliminary case, “redacted”, we learn that AMD offered HP a million Opterons free but HP only would take 160,000.

After a mass of masking tape, we seem to find that AMD thought in some way HP was “irrational”. An unredacted bit said: “No rational computer manufacturer would leave 840,000 free, state-of-the-art microprocessors on the table unless it had been foreclosed from using them by exclusionary conduct. And that is precisely what happened.”

Was HP rational? Is HP rational? The jury isn’t out on that claim. There are pages more but we’ll have to wait until we launch the Examiner to, er examine this fascinating document further.

Moist snuff? Ah yeah, that is one of the precedents that AMD quotes. Presumably some manufacturer of moister snuff than snuff was being exclusionary to the less moist snuff manufacturer.

The case continues. And continues.