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Intel Acquires Chip Designers From HP
The Associated Press ^ | Dec 15, 2004 | Matthew Fordahl

Posted on 12/15/2004 6:44:58 PM PST by BenLurkin

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Intel Corp. has reached an agreement to hire hundreds of Hewlett-Packard Co. engineers who helped design the Itanium microprocessor, a massive joint project between the two technology companies since the early 1990s. As a result, all Itanium processor design work will now be done entirely within Intel, though HP on Wednesday announced it plans to invest more than $3 billion over the next three years to continue its commitment to the chip.

The HP team, which is based in Fort Collins, Colo., will not have to relocate, said Intel spokesman Robert Manetta. Other terms of the agreement, which will be formally announced Thursday, were not released.

Itanium was conceived as a processor for high-end computers like servers and workstations. Specifically, it was supposed to displace Reduced Instruction Set Computing processors from International Business Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

But after nearly a decade of development, Itanium was launched in 2001 just as the tech bubble had popped and demand for high-end servers stagnated. Lower-priced chips like those used in personal computers also were becoming powerful enough to capture some of the business.

Still, the RISC server market remains extremely lucrative, estimated to have about $20 billion a year in sales.

"The addition of this world-class design team to Intel's industry leading capabilities will further strengthen the product line," said Paul Otellini, Intel's chief operating officer.

HP's investment will cover research and investment, server and system software design, applications as well as sales and marketing, the companies said.

---

On the Net:

Intel Itanium: http://www.intel.com/itanium

AP-ES-12-15-04 2005EST


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: hp; intel; intelcorp; itanium

1 posted on 12/15/2004 6:44:58 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

Nice chip, shame they couldn't commit to it.


2 posted on 12/15/2004 6:48:30 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: BenLurkin
Blah. The "Itanic". AMD kicks their butts. And when my chip gets out, watch out world!

-Yossarian (chip designer)

3 posted on 12/15/2004 6:51:58 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: general_re

Did they say how many employees are going on the street?


4 posted on 12/15/2004 6:57:26 PM PST by Nachoman
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To: Yossarian
Of course, I have to hand it to Intel for keeping a team together. Having a good working chip team, then having it be ripped apart and finding yourself needing to start the team from scratch, sucks.

But then again, you'd have to be working for Intel, one of the least-liked companies in the Silicon Valley - very compartmentalized, very secretive, and very stifling for good designers.

5 posted on 12/15/2004 7:03:33 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Nachoman

Dunno. Guess it depends on how many HP'ers they decide not to hire. Sounds like those that want to work for Intel will probably get the chance. Good for them - better Intel than sitting around and waiting for Carly to axe them ;)


6 posted on 12/15/2004 7:06:29 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: Yossarian
But then again, you'd have to be working for Intel, one of the least-liked companies in the Silicon Valley - very compartmentalized, very secretive, and very stifling for good designers.

That must be why all those Alpha guys jumped to Intel last year - because it sucks so much to work there. Or is it because they're not good designers? ;)

7 posted on 12/15/2004 7:14:03 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: general_re

The Alpha wasn't a good design?


8 posted on 12/15/2004 7:23:09 PM PST by Abcdefg
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To: general_re
I'd have to guess that they gave the Alpha guys good incentive (read $) to go over as a whole team. That, and once you are in a good team, you know what others are good at AND YOU KNOW YOUR TOOLS & TECH WELL, you don't feel like leaving it.

I just see people very happy to leave Intel. Of course, I've seen people eager to leave NVidia as well (it's a notorious meat-grinder), but at least they say they respect their management, even as they are working them to death....

9 posted on 12/15/2004 7:24:10 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Abcdefg

The Alpha ROCKED! Too bad that they were doing it for DEC....
Alpha and StrongARM are my two favorite chips, from a designer's perspective.


10 posted on 12/15/2004 7:26:47 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: BenLurkin

Itanium - the solution in search of a problem. I'm still waiting for those 64 bit apps. Notepad-64 gets a bit old after awhile.


11 posted on 12/15/2004 7:26:55 PM PST by Doohickey ("This is a hard and dirty war, but when it's over, nothing will ever be too difficult again.)
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To: Abcdefg

A little bit of sarcasm, my friend ;)


12 posted on 12/15/2004 7:27:44 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: Yossarian

What's wrong with the 6502?


13 posted on 12/15/2004 7:29:33 PM PST by Nick Danger (Want some wood?)
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To: Yossarian

I've done a lot of contract work at a lot of places - every place I've ever been, there was someone there who was happy to leave. Sometimes the place really did suck, and sometimes it was the people leaving who sucked - you just never really know 'til you're on the inside ;)


14 posted on 12/15/2004 7:29:51 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: Doohickey
If you don't need 64-bit addressing (i.e. if you don't need to access more than, say, 2 GB of RAM at any given time), I'd stay away from a 64 bit chip.

Why? Because all those 64-bit pathways make the chip bigger, and bigger chips are slower chips.

Of course, some media instructions are good to have as wide as reasonable, and operating systems will use more and more RAM as disk caches. But in general, it's like renting a limo when a Ferrari would do.

15 posted on 12/15/2004 7:32:30 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian

What is your chip?


16 posted on 12/15/2004 7:33:10 PM PST by krb (TANSTAAFB)
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To: krb

Can't say yet :-) But when it comes out, it will make waves, that's for sure!


17 posted on 12/15/2004 7:36:34 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian

Okay, who do you work for? ;)


18 posted on 12/15/2004 7:37:51 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: Yossarian
If you don't need 64-bit addressing (i.e. if you don't need to access more than, say, 2 GB of RAM at any given time), I'd stay away from a 64 bit chip.

It's not the address space that interests me, it's the 64-bit registers I would like to be able to use.

19 posted on 12/15/2004 7:40:58 PM PST by krb (TANSTAAFB)
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To: general_re

I shouldn't really say. Let's just say it'sa big monster of a company.


20 posted on 12/15/2004 7:41:35 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian

Do you like threads?


21 posted on 12/15/2004 7:41:44 PM PST by krb (TANSTAAFB)
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To: krb
Sure I like threads! Girls often tell me I wear nice threads! :-)

Oh, those kind...to be honest, I'm so busy down at the physical level of the chip, I don't have much opinion on some architecture issues these days. Life at ultra-deep submicron keeps me busy enough... :-(

22 posted on 12/15/2004 7:46:57 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian

A big blue monster?


23 posted on 12/15/2004 7:49:36 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Liberalism: The irrational fear of self reliance.)
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To: Yossarian

Bump !!


24 posted on 12/15/2004 7:53:11 PM PST by jokar (On line data base http://www.trackingthethreat.com/db/index.htm)
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To: Yossarian

Spoilsport. Does it have intials that stand for "I've Been Mugged"? ;)


25 posted on 12/15/2004 7:59:44 PM PST by general_re ("What's plausible to you is unimportant." - D'man)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Howdy Cuz!


26 posted on 12/15/2004 8:12:06 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian

LOL I am sitting in my big blue cubicle even now.


27 posted on 12/15/2004 8:16:13 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Liberalism: The irrational fear of self reliance.)
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To: Straight Vermonter
Me too - and the lights keep on going out, unless I move a lot. God I hate pre-Holiday get-it-done-before-everyone-leaves-on-vacation deadlines!

If you're in Vermont, it's time to go home!

If you can give me a clue to your ID, I can verify you on Blue Pages, and maybe tell you a little about what we're doing.

28 posted on 12/15/2004 8:20:10 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian

You have freep mail.


29 posted on 12/15/2004 8:23:29 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Liberalism: The irrational fear of self reliance.)
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To: Yossarian
Why? Because all those 64-bit pathways make the chip bigger, and bigger chips are slower chips.

I think AMD did very well with its 64-bit extensions to the x86 ISA. IBM also did well with its PPC 970 chip that's designed from scratch to do 32- and 64-bit natively with no performance hit in either mode. The Itanium is a different monster, a 64-bit chip that has to run 32-bit code in emulation -- a disaster when general computing is still mostly 32-bit (although they do well in supercomputers).

30 posted on 12/28/2004 10:45:32 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: krb
It's not the address space that interests me, it's the 64-bit registers I would like to be able to use.

Also, the AMD 64 chips give you double the number of general purpose registers when in 64-bit mode, up to 16 (plus eight 128-bit XMM/SSE registers). I remember the Unreal Tournament developers saying that this alone gave them a huge jump in speed.

31 posted on 12/28/2004 11:04:27 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
Why? Because all those 64-bit pathways make the chip bigger, and bigger chips are slower chips.

I think AMD did very well with its 64-bit extensions to the x86 ISA.

Ah, you're talking about architectual issues, and I'm talking about physical issues.

Just imagine a nice medium size burg. Then imagine it, if all the roads and paths were made with double the width. Assuming that the lot sizes were the same, the town would grow, would it not?

And when you are driving your car at the same speed as before (i.e. the limits of physics), it takes you longer to go from one corner of the bigger town to the other corner, right?

It's the same way in chips, especially if they are constrained not by block size, but by wiring considerations. And of course, those blocks are going to grow in size, because now they have to process 64 bits, not 32 - some will double in size.

Now, the fabs do nice things like give us physical designers more layers to play with, and if we lay out things nicely, we minimize the cost of these double-wide bit lanes. But bigger they are, and bigger = lower frequency.

On the other hand, now you can gain some speed back by taking advantage of 64 bit calculations in your OS and applications. So in some cases it's a wash, or if 64-bit calcs really speed things, up, a win. But it still has lower frequency than a smaller design.

32 posted on 12/28/2004 12:08:36 PM PST by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: Yossarian
And when you are driving your car at the same speed as before (i.e. the limits of physics), it takes you longer to go from one corner of the bigger town to the other corner, right?

Then I guess it's nice that going to 64 is usually accompanied by a process shrink. Moore just said we could double the transistors. He didn't necessarily say what we had to do with those transistors: use the same amount and get more yield per wafer (and often more clock speed), or grow the number of transistors we use per chip to get more abilities with the same yield.

So this time you lose some clock in favor of abilities. It's a good tradeoff for those who want it.

33 posted on 01/02/2005 9:56:57 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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