Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×
User Journal

Journal: Intel's processor curse

Journal by saccade.com
I think Intel under a processor architecture curse. Perhaps it was cast by Federico Faggin (one of the designers) when he left Intel in the 70s. The curse goes like this: Any processor design that is not a descendant of the original 4004 will fail.

Look at the evolution of the Pentia:

4004 > 8008 > 8080 > 8086 > 80186 > '286 > '386 > '486
> Pentium > PPro > PMMX > PII > PIII > PIV (etc.)

Intel did try to make a few other mainstream CPUs along the way. In the 1980's, the i432 - Flop. In the 1990's, the i860 - Thud. And now the Itanium (nicknamed the "Itanic") looks like another silicon smoking crater. Design partner HP recently announced they're pulling out. In order to get a marketable 64 bit design, Intel had to copy, yes, copy, AMD's x86-64 design. And it's yet another remote descendant of the 4004.

This isn't to say the art of processor architecture is dead. IBM/Apple's Power, ARM, MIPS, etc. all seem to be doing well in their various markets. It's just Intel seems like it will forever bound to that first design.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

Working...