Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Nov 2011 22:32 UTC
Intel You may not realise it, but today one of the most important pieces of technology celebrates its 40th birthday. In November 15, 1971, a company called Intel released its Intel 4004 processor - the first single-chip microprocessor, and one of the most important milestones in computer history.
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RE: Congratulations!
by bassbeast on Wed 16th Nov 2011 08:38 UTC in reply to "Congratulations!"
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

Well until Intel was allowed to bribe and rig the entire ecosystem and cut Via (who could have easily made the first netbook if Intel hadn't paid off the OEMs) and AMD (who is only surviving thanks to their purchase of ATI and selling their chips for a couple of pence over cost) out of the market using illegal means and getting away with it.

I wonder if there is some sort of rule that once a corporation gets to a certain size they HAVE to turn evil. Its like one day they wake up and starting practicing their evil laugh and putting their pinky against the edge of their lip. look at MSFT, started out as this little software house, gained year after year by being cheaper than the other guy, then one day gates waked up and goes 'Crush them, that is what we need to do CRUSH THEM ALL Mua ha ha ha ha!"

Just think how different things could have been if Intel hadn't rigged the game. Via would have probably come out with netbooks in 04 and used the money they made from those to build even lowered power chips, whereas AMD would have had roughly half the market thanks to athlon64 being so much better than the Netburst arch and would have used that money to come up with even better designs, while Intel would have not been able to pawn Netburst off for so many years and we wouldn't still have those power hogs by the millions. Instead they would have went back to the drawing board and probably had Core design out 3 years earlier than they did.

While i'm glad Intel came up with the CPU it just shows that IMHO power ALWAYS corrupts. When I was a kid we had more than a half a dozen CPUs to choose from as well as 4 different x86 designs. Now we are down to just 3, Intel, AMD and ARM, and if it wasn't for cell phones ARM would be toast as well.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Congratulations!
by judgen on Wed 16th Nov 2011 11:52 in reply to "RE: Congratulations!"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

When were you a kid btw? When i was younger we had opportunity to pick between the following in x86: Cyrix, IDT, Intel, AMD, RiSE NexGen and the NEC Clones.

Today the only manufacturers that are allowed to make x86:cpu's are VIA (whom bouht IDT and Cyrix), SiS (Who bought RiSE from the people at VIA) AMD (sharing agreement with intel as well as bought the designs from nexgen as well as the company) And ofcourse intel themselves. Ofcourse if someone were able to do a complete reverse engineering of any of those they would be allowed to sell x86 designs learned from that expierience too. (in omst countries atleast, local laws may apply)

Edit: Nexgen added.

Edited 2011-11-16 11:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Congratulations!
by demetrioussharpe on Wed 16th Nov 2011 14:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Congratulations!"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

When were you a kid btw? When i was younger we had opportunity to pick between the following in x86: Cyrix, IDT, Intel, AMD, RiSE NexGen and the NEC Clones.

Today the only manufacturers that are allowed to make x86:cpu's are VIA (whom bouht IDT and Cyrix), SiS (Who bought RiSE from the people at VIA) AMD (sharing agreement with intel as well as bought the designs from nexgen as well as the company) And ofcourse intel themselves. Ofcourse if someone were able to do a complete reverse engineering of any of those they would be allowed to sell x86 designs learned from that expierience too. (in omst countries atleast, local laws may apply)

Edit: Nexgen added.


Those were the days... I hate what's happened to the industry. Sure, things are more standard, but there's less actual choice than there used to be.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Congratulations!
by bassbeast on Sun 20th Nov 2011 10:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Congratulations!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Sounds like close to your childhood as it was late 70s to mid 80s (my first album was Kiss Alive II on 8 track just to date myself). My first "PC" was an Altair that "fell off the back of a truck" my uncle was driving, followed by the VIC. Atari, GEM, Compaq, I think I played with just about every CPU and OS back then, man it was so much nicer when we had choice!

Of the ones you name there really are only two now, Intel and AMD. try buying a Via CPU in anything but ultra niche like carputers is nearly impossible, and SiS doesn't make chips. I had hopes that Nvidia would buy Via and get in the game (imagine how sweet a netbook with a combo Via/Nvidia APU would be) but that seems to be a no go.

But frankly other than bribing the officials I can't understand why Intel wasn't busted. I mean you had a major CEO admit that Intel bribes were like Cocaine and Dell admitted that during the price wars there were quarters where their ONLY "profits" were in the form of Intel kickbacks. Then finally you have the fact that in every benchmark there was the Athlon64 stomped netburst until Intel came along and rigged the compiler, what more proof do they need? What they did made MSFT under Gates look like choirboys!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Congratulations!
by zima on Tue 22nd Nov 2011 23:14 in reply to "RE[2]: Congratulations!"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Today the only manufacturers that are allowed to make x86:cpu's [...] Ofcourse if someone were able to do a complete reverse engineering of any of those they would be allowed to sell x86 designs learned from that expierience too. (in omst countries atleast, local laws may apply)

That's more nuanced, I think, with many technologies patented ...well, one could ignore it, I suppose - but in the process closing too many markets, being too risky for buyers of chips (manufacturers, really, not end-users*).

OTOH, i486 is over 20 years old. And in 2013, you can do P5-level implementation without any legal issues, I guess. Two years later - i686, essentially bringing compatibility with most of present software, if it doesn't require MMX (2016) or SSE (2019...). x64 would be probably at least as big of a problem before 2023 - I imagine that AMD doesn't want additional competition, much more than Intel doesn't want it (Intel just wants some competition, to avoid antitrust; for AMD, being that "sanctioned" by Intel competition is the lifeline)

*hm, I wrote it originally as end-suers ;p (and almost submitted like that, auto-correct giving me a false sense of correctness)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Congratulations!
by transputer_guy on Wed 16th Nov 2011 21:08 in reply to "RE: Congratulations!"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

That's one pretty angry sentiment and mostly wrong.

You seem to have a fix on VIA as if they are angels too, it's not as if Taiwan doesn't have it own huge empires that dominate the world in motherboards and PC production through China. These companies are often setup up in a way that would alarm most westerners, typically one family member each has a company to run, VIA is the wife, and the husband is another giant. Nepotism is the word there. At Intel you will find engineers and managers of every race and nationality (I don't work there). In any Taiwanese empire you will find mostly, well try guessing.

Yes Intel did get into legal trouble for aggressive marketing and that's why AMD still has some part of the pie but it has to fight it out in the market for that slice. Netburst was crap, they got over it, every company makes mistakes and learns from it or dies.

Besides x86 and ARM, there are many other processors still out there mostly in the embedded area. In my own humble opinion, the future looks much better for ARM in tablets, phones and the embedded space than it does for Intel/AMD in PCs, its volume vs margin. With the gradual switch to slimmer PC/Tablets, I see only huge growth for the ARM and timid growth for x86. The ARM industry has at least a dozen vendors in it and looks quite healthy.

The term CPU predates Intel by a long time, even in those days IBM, Bouroughs, ICL and many others were building CPUs built with many discrete standard logic chips and custom chips. The 4004 was only half way to a whole CPU with very limited performance, and stuffed into a 14pin DRAM package because that was available. Pins were very expensive in those days, but the more you wanted to do good CPU design, the more pins you needed in the package, that had to wait awhile for the 40pin DIP and the switch to NMOS.

Congratulations are really due to the entire industry.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Congratulations!
by bassbeast on Sun 20th Nov 2011 10:34 in reply to "RE[2]: Congratulations!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Wow you are so wrong I don't even know where to begin on your wrongness. Intel wasn't "aggressive" they BRIBED THE OEMS which several OEMs admitted under oath. One likened Intel kickbacks to "cocaine" and there were several quarters during the price wars where the ONLY profits Dell had were Intel kickbacks.

Also you might want to look up "Intel rigs compilers" to see how by simply changing the CPUID on ANY Intel chip from "Genuine Intel" to "Authentic AMD" suddenly the CPU will slow down by nearly 40% on ANY program compiled with the Intel compiler. Wow a single line suddenly causes the entire code to fall apart, how is that possible? Simple Intel is RIGGING their compiler so that ALL code compiled with it, whether the coder wants it or not, looks for the CPUID and if its Intel it gets full SSE up to SSE 3, if not it gets X87 which was depreciated back in 1995!

So this is NOT aggressive marketing, this is complete market rigging. They paid the OEMs massive kickbacks and made it clear those kickbacks were connected with how many AMD chips they carried (which was why you could find Duron/Sempron but not Athlon, as Intel gave them a higher "quota" of Semprons allowed) and when they saw that even the Duron stomped netburst because they had made the pipe too long instead of fixing their problem they rigged the compiler so any CPU that didn't have the right flag got a boat anchor tied to it. Frankly what they did made what MSFT pulled look like a joke and MSFT got put under sanctions for 12 years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Congratulations!
by zima on Tue 22nd Nov 2011 22:49 in reply to "RE: Congratulations!"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder if there is some sort of rule that once a corporation gets to a certain size they HAVE to turn evil.

Well... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation_(film)

And, really, it's nothing new; probably largely a reflection of what we, humans, are.
I suppose you don't think (saying "IMHO power ALWAYS corrupts") AMD or Via wouldn't act in a roughly similar fashion, given similar position & circumstances, some opportunity in which they'd saw a chance for them.


Via (who could have easily made the first netbook if Intel hadn't paid off the OEMs) [...] Just think how different things could have been if Intel hadn't rigged the game. Via would have probably come out with netbooks in 04 and used the money they made from those to build even lowered power chips

And come on, don't glorify them. Via had many years for that... yes, OEMs most likely were an important factor - but Intel didn't even necessarily have to intervene (OEMs by themselves preferred to sell machines to "premium" people)

OTOH what Via did, in some of their initiatives (announced, at least; I'm not sure if they were ever really realized), can be largely described as dumping obsolete, uncompetitive, barely useful tech on impoverished people (products of bad value often hurt them the most)

Or consider the "evil" brought by flawed Via chipsets from a decade+ ago. Equally inexpensive but technically competent alternatives were available: Ali Alladin in Super Socket 7 era, SiS chipsets in K7 era - but somehow Via managed to push their own flawed chips to generally dominant position (in the segment), didn't have any qualms about it.
All their issues, instabilities ...think how much additional (unnecessary) stress it brought. How much human creativity and energy it wasted.


When I was a kid we had more than a half a dozen CPUs to choose from as well as 4 different x86 designs. Now we are down to just 3, Intel, AMD and ARM, and if it wasn't for cell phones ARM would be toast as well.

Well, and many of them weren't really that good of a deal; largely died rightfully. OTOH, there are still many embedded architectures (that's where x86 was born) to choose from.

Edited 2011-11-22 22:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2