Can we have a moment of silence (or several million dollars) . . . please?

Michael Huntingdon hunting at
Mon Jun 25 16:33:21 PDT 2001

Sounds like exactly the same argument we heard about Alpha for so many
years. Perhaps DEC and Compaq have not been lining their pockets after all.


At 06:05 PM 6/25/01 -0400, you wrote:
>On Mon, Jun 25, 2001 at 03:21:32PM -0400, Thomas Lovie wrote:
>> it's unclear which definition of 'better' will be used...
>I believe that 'more profitable' is the only definition
>of 'better' with any relevance to the situation.
>Clearly, without competition, Intel, HP and now Compaq
>would be able to just about set whatever prices they happen
>to like, while trickling improvements out at any rate that
>happens to be convenient.
>Luckily, competition exists, although it is not so
>varied as what had existed previously. I just checked
>with a recent copy of Microprocessor Report. In their
>"Chart Watch" for "Workstation Processors", they list
>nine currently-shipping CPUs: 833MHz Alpha, 1.33GHz
>Athlon, 552MHz PA-8600, 450MHz Power3-II, 1GHz PIII,
>1.7GHz P4, 400MHz R12000, 480MHz UltraSPARC-II and 900MHz
>UltraSPARC-III.  From an SPECcpu2000 (both  performance
>standpoint, only five were competitive: Alpha, Athlon,
>PA-8600, P4 and UltraSPARC-III.
>So now Alpha and the Precision Architecture chips will be
>phased out in favor of the Itanium; MIPS is dead as far
>as Compaq is concerned; other than Compaq and SGI does
>anyone else still use them at the high end (i.e. not in
>embedded designs)? AMD has the Hammer due late next year.
>UltraSPARC-II and the PIII are dead ends.
>At this point, it seems as if AMD remains the sole leading
>competitor from a raw performance standpoint, with Sun,
>IBM & Motorola giving a strong showing but with a slightly
>different emphasis (i.e. no one but AMD seems interested
>in slugging it out in the commodity CPU arena; Sun, IBM
>and Mot all seem more interested in selling integrated
>systems or partnering with major OEMs -- they are addicted
>to fat margins and appear to have no ability to transition
>to a volume-based strategy).
>Is this this enough competition to give Intel the kind of
>heartburn AMD's been giving them in the ia32 range? Is there
>something else waiting in the wings? Or will real competition
>come only out of left field?
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