Why the platform focus?

Article: Tukwila Update
By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), February 6, 2009 8:14 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
David Kanter (dkanter@realworldtech.com) on 2/6/09 wrote:
>So, I'm curious, what recommendations would you make for
>improving the Itanium 2 core?
>the most obvious would be move to a single bundle core,
>perhaps add OOO. Or you could go niagara style to hide

Realistically? There's not a lot Intel can do that makes
any kind of economic sense. "Leave the thing behind" has
been my recommendation since before they even released it
in the first place.

They can't do the niagara thing, because their only market
simply isn't remotely interested. They can't do the OoO
thing (even though I think they should, just to make it
interesting), since that implies putting a lot of resources
on it, and their market is too small for that to make sense.

So what Intel appears to be doing is leaving the
dang thing to die, but releasing these "let's put pieces
of technology we already had" Frankenstein's monster cpu's
every once in a while.

I can visualize the meetings: "Let's bolt on QPI, we'll
just dig it out of the verilog that the Core i7 people
left behind". Or "Let's tack on another core - that way
we can claim that it's twice as fast, without actually
having to design anything".

The most interesting thing IPF ever did was that half-assed
and sorry half-baked SoEMT thing. And you can still see the
bolts in the forehead from that one.

So what Intel could try to do is to make a single-banger
speed-racer design. Put a small crack team of crazy people
on it, and let them go wild. If for no other reason than to
at least look alive next to a POWER6. Go for frequency, go
for simplicity, go for anything: just admit that the
old core sucked.

Take a chance, for chissake! Intel literally has absolutely
nothing to lose on it. Go out in a blaze of glory, not this
disgusting "let's wipe our asses one more time and see what
we come up with" strategy.

Or just kill the damn thing off. Don't make those ludicrous
claims about keeping it alive until 22nm. Do anything but
the "more of the same proven failure".

The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over
and over, and thinking that the end result is going to be
different". And quite frankly, Intel's strategy wrt Itanium
has been insane according to that simple definition.

Sure, hitting your head against the wall over and over
might make the wall crumble. But more likely it just
makes your head hurt. Try another approach, already.

As it is, Itanium just makes Intel look bad. They'd be
better off using it as a technology demonstration of crazy
features ("look what we can do in 32nm at 800W in a lab,
using our experimental Itanium chip") and never sell a
single one.

But instead, they keep dragging their name through mud by
comparing themselves with Sparc. It's like Michael Phelps
crowing about getting a gold medal in the Special Olympics.

Sure, it's a gold medal, but you're just debasing yourself.
You've shown that you don't have to compete against gimps
to do well (Core2/Core i7). Why are you competing against
people who can't do better? Pick on somebody your own size,
for chissake!

So every time I see Itanium compared against Sparc I just
feel like Intel should be ashamed of themselves, and that
the person doing the comparison should just leave it be.
It doesn't make Intel look any better, and Sun doesn't
need that kind of "kick them while they're still twitching"

I'm sorry, I just don't see the point.

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TopicPosted ByDate
Tukwila Update - article onlineDavid Kanter2009/02/05 12:03 AM
  Tukwila Update - article onlineDan2009/02/05 03:17 AM
    Tukwila Update - article onlineJoe Chang2009/02/05 09:16 AM
    Tukwila Update - article onlineTemp2009/02/05 09:25 AM
      Tukwila Update - article onlinePaul2009/02/05 12:29 PM
        Tukwila Update - article onlineDavid Kanter2009/02/05 06:32 PM
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            Great. Finally hard numbersMichael S2009/02/06 04:46 AM
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              Tukwila Update - article onlinePhil2009/02/06 07:29 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlineRagingDragon2009/02/07 03:39 PM
                  Tukwila Update - article onlineMichael S2009/02/07 04:09 PM
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              Tukwila Update - article onlineMichael S2009/02/06 07:13 AM
            Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/06 07:18 AM
              Tukwila Update - article onlinePhil2009/02/06 07:47 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/06 08:17 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlineRagingDragon2009/02/07 03:51 PM
              Tukwila Update - article onlineLinus Torvalds2009/02/06 08:37 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/06 09:19 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlinesavantu2009/02/06 10:19 AM
                  Tukwila Update - article onlineLinus Torvalds2009/02/06 10:40 AM
                    Tukwila Update - article onlinesavantu2009/02/06 11:00 AM
              Tukwila Update - article onlinePhil2009/02/09 04:54 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlineDoug Siebert2009/02/09 10:40 PM
                  Tukwila Update - article onlineJouni Osmala2009/02/10 01:03 AM
                  Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/10 06:15 AM
                Tukwila Update - article onlineslacker2009/02/10 06:22 PM
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    Tukwila Update - article onlineDavid Kanter2009/02/05 04:55 PM
    Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/05 05:47 PM
      Tukwila Update - article onlineanon2009/02/05 10:16 PM
        Tukwila Update - article onlineRagingDragon2009/02/05 10:27 PM
        Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/06 07:32 AM
          Tukwila Update - article onlineanon2009/02/06 09:25 AM
            Tukwila Update - article onlinesomeone2009/02/06 09:40 AM
  POWER6 memory bandwidthMichael S2009/02/05 03:30 AM
    POWER6 memory bandwidthsomeone2009/02/05 07:00 AM
      POWER6 memory bandwidthMichael S2009/02/05 07:36 AM
      POWER6 interconnectconfused2009/02/05 10:50 AM
        POWER6 interconnectfoobar2009/02/05 02:12 PM
    POWER6 memory bandwidthWes Felter2009/02/05 12:57 PM
    POWER6 memory bandwidthJesper Frimann2009/02/09 11:54 PM
      POWER6 memory bandwidthMichael S2009/02/10 07:21 AM
  Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/05 08:40 AM
    Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/05 08:50 AM
      Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/05 09:29 AM
        Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/05 10:34 PM
          Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/05 11:09 PM
          Why the platform focus?Phil2009/02/06 01:10 AM
            Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/06 01:50 AM
              Why the platform focus?Phil2009/02/06 07:09 AM
                Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/06 10:08 AM
                Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/06 10:21 AM
                  Why the platform focus?mpx2009/02/06 02:04 PM
                    Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/06 02:16 PM
                Why the platform focus?RagingDragon2009/02/07 04:16 PM
                Why the platform focus?mas2009/02/25 08:28 AM
              itanium bigger than entire car industryVincent Diepeveen2009/02/06 07:12 AM
                itanium bigger than entire car industryDevon Welles2009/02/06 07:51 AM
                  itanium bigger than entire car industryVincent Diepeveen2009/02/06 10:41 AM
                  itanium bigger than entire car industryDean Kent2009/02/06 07:56 PM
                    Unit sales is meaningless when ASP grows fastersomeone2009/02/07 09:38 AM
                      Unit sales is meaningless when ASP grows fasterDean Kent2009/02/07 03:10 PM
                        Unit sales is meaningless when ASP grows fasterRagingDragon2009/02/07 04:34 PM
                    itanium bigger than entire car industryVincent Diepeveen2009/02/08 05:35 AM
                itanium bigger than entire car industryRagingDragon2009/02/07 04:40 PM
            Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/06 07:47 AM
      Yes it doesm performance mattersbob2009/02/05 10:51 AM
        Yes it doesm performance mattersVenki2009/02/05 11:06 AM
      Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/06 01:07 AM
        Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/06 02:00 AM
    Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/05 10:49 AM
      Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/05 12:03 PM
        Why the platform focus?Default2009/02/05 01:29 PM
          Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/05 02:08 PM
        Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/05 02:24 PM
          Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/05 03:30 PM
    Why the platform focus?Paradox2009/02/05 11:22 AM
    Why the platform focus?slacker2009/02/05 01:41 PM
      Why the platform focus?RagingDragon2009/02/05 10:57 PM
      Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/06 06:11 AM
        Why the platform focus?slacker2009/02/06 01:58 PM
          Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/08 02:24 AM
            Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/08 09:38 AM
              Why the platform focus?David Kanter2009/02/08 04:27 PM
                Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/08 07:26 PM
                  Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/09 12:35 AM
          Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/08 09:53 AM
    All x86 SpecInt scores are useless due to autopar (NT)Michael S2009/02/05 03:15 PM
      Auto parallelizationDavid Kanter2009/02/05 06:17 PM
      All x86 SpecInt scores are useless due to autopar (NT)Paradox2009/02/06 08:47 AM
    Why the platform focus?David Kanter2009/02/05 04:49 PM
    Why the platform focus?David Kanter2009/02/06 01:09 AM
      Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/06 08:14 AM
        Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/06 10:37 AM
          Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/06 12:49 PM
            Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/06 01:09 PM
            Intel puts its money where its mouth issomeone2009/02/06 02:08 PM
              Intel puts its money where its mouth isRagingDragon2009/02/07 06:01 PM
                Intel puts its money where its mouth issomeone2009/02/08 02:24 PM
                  mission-criticalMichael S2009/02/08 05:06 PM
                    mission-criticalmpx2009/02/09 02:30 AM
                      mission-criticalrwessel2009/02/09 03:23 PM
                    mission-criticalanon2009/02/09 03:55 AM
                    mission-criticalEduardoS2009/02/09 05:17 PM
                      mission-criticalDean Kent2009/02/09 08:11 PM
                        mission-criticalMichael S2009/02/10 05:20 AM
                          mission-criticalDean Kent2009/02/10 07:26 AM
                            mission-criticalMichael S2009/02/10 08:01 AM
                              mission-criticalDean Kent2009/02/10 01:36 PM
                            mission-criticalsomeone2009/02/10 09:05 AM
                              mission-criticalDean Kent2009/02/10 01:22 PM
                                mission-criticalZt2009/02/22 04:54 PM
                          mission-criticalanon2009/02/10 10:41 PM
                        mission-criticalEduardoS2009/02/10 01:46 PM
                          mission-criticalDean Kent2009/02/10 02:31 PM
                        mission-criticalslacker2009/02/10 07:30 PM
                    mission-criticalVincent Diepeveen2009/02/18 07:20 AM
                  Mission criticalmpx2009/02/09 01:00 AM
            Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/07 01:15 AM
              Sun and x86 server differentiationDavid Kanter2009/02/07 01:34 AM
                Sun and x86 server differentiationmax2009/02/07 03:30 AM
                Sun and x86 server differentiationsomeone2009/02/07 10:19 AM
                  Sun and x86 server differentiationLinus Torvalds2009/02/07 10:44 AM
                Sun and x86 server differentiationRagingDragon2009/02/07 06:09 PM
                  Sun and x86 server differentiationMichael S2009/02/08 05:05 AM
                    Sun and x86 server differentiationRagingDragon2009/02/10 12:03 AM
                    Sun and x86 server differentiationJesper Frimann2009/02/10 12:51 AM
                      Sun and x86 server differentiationAlex Jones2009/02/10 01:43 PM
            Why the platform focus?bob2009/02/08 04:51 AM
              Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/08 09:23 AM
          missing the big pictureAM2009/02/18 06:43 AM
            missing the big pictureMichael S2009/02/18 08:42 AM
              missing the big pictureAM2009/02/18 09:03 AM
        Why the platform focus?mpx2009/02/06 12:47 PM
          Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.mpx2009/02/06 04:48 PM
            Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.Paul2009/02/07 02:56 PM
              z series?Michael S2009/02/07 03:12 PM
              Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.someone else2009/02/24 04:37 AM
                Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.EduardoS2009/02/24 06:55 AM
                  Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.someone else2009/02/25 01:55 AM
                    Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.Michael S2009/02/25 02:27 AM
          Why the platform focus?RagingDragon2009/02/07 06:18 PM
            Why the platform focus?Paul2009/02/08 01:10 PM
              Why the platform focus?Jukka Larja2009/02/08 11:04 PM
        Why the platform focus?slacker2009/02/06 02:10 PM
          Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/06 02:40 PM
            Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/06 02:51 PM
            Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/06 02:58 PM
              Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/07 09:26 AM
                Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/07 10:10 AM
                  Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/07 10:40 AM
                    Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/07 12:24 PM
                      Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/08 12:32 AM
                        Why the platform focus?max2009/02/08 04:57 AM
                          Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/08 05:20 AM
                        Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/08 09:15 AM
                          Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/08 11:36 PM
                      Why the platform focus?hobold2009/02/09 05:49 AM
                Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/24 01:57 AM
                  Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/24 09:45 AM
                    Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/24 12:30 PM
                      Why the platform focus?slacker2009/02/24 01:51 PM
                        Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/25 12:04 AM
                          Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/25 02:34 AM
                          Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/25 10:17 AM
                      Why the platform focus?max2009/02/25 11:15 AM
                    Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/24 05:43 PM
                      Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/24 08:26 PM
                        Why the platform focus?Howard Chu2009/02/25 03:07 AM
                          Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/25 06:48 AM
                        Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/25 06:41 AM
                          Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/25 09:17 AM
                            Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/25 09:55 AM
                              has anyone seen Tukwila silicon?anon2009/02/25 10:38 AM
                              Why the platform focus?Linus Torvalds2009/02/25 11:05 AM
                                Why the platform focus?slacker2009/02/25 01:11 PM
                                Why the platform focus?a reader2009/02/26 09:11 PM
                                  Why the platform focus?rcf2009/02/27 01:32 PM
                                    Why the platform focus?max2009/02/27 02:11 PM
                                      Why the platform focus?rcf2009/02/27 03:50 PM
                            Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/25 04:30 PM
                            $40M sale to $16M companybob2009/02/25 08:25 PM
                              $40M sale to $16M companyRichard Cownie2009/02/26 12:21 PM
                  Why the platform focus?anonymous2009/02/24 11:52 AM
                    Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/24 12:20 PM
                      Why the platform focus?anonymous2009/02/24 03:31 PM
                        Why the platform focus?savantu2009/02/25 12:05 AM
                        Why the platform focus?someone else2009/02/25 01:04 AM
                          Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/25 01:42 AM
                            Put me down for $500 that Poulson doesn't arrive earlier than Q4/2011 (NT)slacker2009/02/25 12:39 PM
                        Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/25 06:54 AM
                          Why the platform focus?anonymous2009/02/25 09:46 AM
                            Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/25 10:22 AM
                            Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/25 11:01 AM
                              Why the platform focus?anonymous2009/02/25 11:54 AM
                  Why the platform focus?mpx2009/02/24 02:11 PM
                    Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/24 08:57 PM
                      Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/24 10:04 PM
                        Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/24 10:46 PM
                          Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/25 05:13 PM
                            Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/25 08:53 PM
                              Why the platform focus?bob2009/02/25 09:00 PM
                                Please try to keep up (NT)anon2009/02/25 09:49 PM
                              Why the platform focus?Doug Siebert2009/02/26 12:09 AM
                                Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/26 01:12 AM
                                Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/26 02:16 AM
                                  Why the platform focus?James2009/02/26 06:09 AM
                                    sufficiently intimate with the OSMichael S2009/02/26 06:29 AM
                                      sufficiently intimate with the OSanon2009/02/27 01:01 AM
                                      sufficiently intimate with the OSHoward Chu2009/02/27 01:37 AM
                      Why the platform focus?Michael S2009/02/25 02:02 AM
                        Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/25 03:07 AM
              Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/07 01:18 PM
                Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/08 10:16 AM
                Why the platform focus?anon2009/02/25 07:40 AM
                  Intels financial statusVincent Diepeveen2009/02/25 12:02 PM
                Why the platform focus?someone2009/02/25 07:54 AM
      Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/06 08:20 AM
        Why the platform focus?Default2009/02/06 09:57 AM
          Why the platform focus?Vincent Diepeveen2009/02/06 10:59 AM
          Why the platform focus?RagingDragon2009/02/07 06:43 PM
  Tukwila Update - article onlineVincent Diepeveen2009/02/05 09:11 AM
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