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Intel Gets PA-RISC Engineers 224

Doctor_D writes "Well it looks like Intel has done it again. They have absorbed more processor engineers, this time from HP. Alpha is gone, PA-RISC is going, what's going to be left? MIPS? SPARC? AMD? Crusoe? "
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Intel Gets PA-RISC Engineers

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  • In an interview (no - I didn't get the job, and I'm not bitter). "Yup - everthing comes back to the big daddy eventually" - we were talking about AXP.
  • Power4/PowerPC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bandix ( 184495 )
    PA-RISC needed to die. It sucked. It's a damn shame Alpha's going away, but that's all water under the bridge. The important thing is that IBM is still quite alive and have produced a processor which is currently giving Intel one helluva run for their money. The Power4 chip's characteristics are nothing short of incredible. For more info check out this page [] at IBM Research.
    • Re:Power4/PowerPC (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "PA-RISC needed to die. It sucked."

      Considering that this move was pre-announced in *1994* by Intel and HP, is anyone really shocked?

      (Well you might be shocked at how bad Itanium sucks, but oh well....)
    • Didn't PA give HP the 'fastest desktop workstation' crown for a while in the early 90s? (between the Sparc and the Alpha). I seem to remember a HP9000 workstation codenamed 'Snake'.
      • Probably, the 700 series was quite fast for its time (I have a 715/80 myself!).

        But AFAIK there was no "snake", but many of the 700s were named after snakes, maybe you mean one of these: Bushmaster (710/50), Cobra (720/50), King Cobra (730/66), Coral (750), Coral II (755)...

        (I wonder if the HP engineers were fans of Elite (the game))
      • Re:Power4/PowerPC (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Moray_Reef ( 75398 )
        I can say for sure that an HP B2000 (HP9000/785)with a 400MHz PA-RISC (1.5MB cache 512MB RAM) CPU runing either HP-UX 10.20 or 11.0 smokes an (admittedly sucky) Sun Ultra-5 400MHz (512K cache -so the whole test is iffy anyway- 512MB RAM) workstation running Oracle 8.1.5/6 on S(l)olaris 7 or 8. If I had my choice I would go for an HP workstation over a Sun unit anyday, BUT I can buy about 8 500MHz SunBlade-100 workstations for the price of one B2000... Don't get me wrong the HP is server class hardware in that workstation, a better product in every way, but OMFG do you pay for it. The Suns are 'commodity' class hardware but great bang for the buck if you need a mature 64bit platform and O/S.

        It will be a shame to see it go, but maybe I can get some of those HP workstations cheap soon.... 8-)

        The following is just a sig.
        • Don't get me wrong the HP is server class hardware in that workstation, a better product in every way, but OMFG do you pay for it. The Suns are 'commodity' class hardware but great bang for the buck if you need a mature 64bit platform and O/S.

          Yeah, at my old job we had older HP boxes (K-class, D-class, G-class and a 712/60 workstation.) I liked the design of the workstation, but it was *slow*...but I have a feeling that it's problem was only having 32 megs of memory. I still remember the consultants we had were trying to load a web server on that box. They weren't successful...mainly 'cause it didn't have enough memory or disk space. Mainly that fell to whoever's fault that when they ordered it, they didn't config it right. I'd imagine with a decent sized disk and at least 128megs of memory, that workstation would still be in use. But instead of upgrading it, it was replaced with a linux workstation.

          Also at my old job I had to do an analysis at the time between Sun and HP's products. And I was hard pressed to get a fair comparision between the two. In order to get fairly equal expanability with same number of processors and memory, I wound up comparing the V-class HP box and a Sun Ultra Enterprise 3500. As we all know pricewise these boxes are in different leagues. (No, the N class wasn't available at the time I did the comparision.)

          We eneded up buying a Sun 3500...but not for the reason I was told to do my comparision...we needed something to run Solaris for the web application server that the development team picked out.

          I also remember getting a quote from HP for a 4.3gig hot swappable Hard Drive to go into a Model 30 disk array. When the quote came in at $1,200US per disk, I was shocked. I wound up going with a reseller and buying the disk *used* for about $600US. At least with the Sun boxes I could just buy a scsi disk, but the rails on it, and dump it in far cheaper.
    • Dunno where you have been for the last decade or so, but - PA-RISC was the first commercially shipping RISC implementation. The Alpha and PA-RISC architectures regularly alternated between being 1st and 2nd for performance, depending on who had the most recent release (although Alpha tended to stay on top for longer periods of time, second is hardly sucking). IA64/EPIC have often been informally refered to as "PA-RISC 3.0"

      Now, the PA-8700, just officially released with a top-speed of 750MHz is a bit of a disappointment since over a year ago they were claiming 1GHz+ in the lab and at least 800MHz for delivery to the real world, especially in light of the Power4 (and we all knew the Power4 had been coming for way over a year now). But the PA-8800 has potential (comp.arch rumours that it is dual-core like the Power4 -- the engineers leaving likely won't effect that design as it probably mostly done with by now) but I doubt we will see a PA-8900 with those guys gone.
      • > Dunno where you have been for the last decade or so, but - PA-RISC was
        > the first commercially shipping RISC implementation.

        This is not true, first was Acorn with its ARM (first working silicon 1985, first available products with ARM CPU 1986), then MIPS (June 1986), then PA-RISC (October 1986).
        • Sorry, I've forgotten IBM's ROMP:

          First working sillicon in early 1981, first products (IBM RT) announced January 1986.

          (See q/hardware.txt )
        • Re:Power4/PowerPC (Score:2, Interesting)

          by javiercero ( 518708 )
          "This is not true, first was Acorn with its ARM..." Nope. IBM's ROMP predates them all, it was the first commercial RISC implementation. Appeared on the RT commercially but it was in production internally in IBM in the early 80's (descendant of the 801 research chip). MIPS had working silicon in 84 but it was still part of Stanford. And the Fairchild Clipper also came on the same year as ARM. All these chips came out in 86 anyways... so besides few weeks/months all could be considered contemporary. PA-RISC itself has a very large instruction set, that is because it is a descendant of other HP processor line, the FOCUS (world's 1st 32bit microprocessor) which was CISC.
    • Sucked? Wasn't PA-RISC able to blow the socks off of Sun's offerings, in the early 90's. Their performance was, at the time, unbeatable execpt perhaps by Alpha but it seems to me that they were always neck 'n neck. Granted the HP chips were bloody expensive once incorporated into a workstation, which is where the Alpha really won the war. HP has never been the swiftest of marketers, but their forte was scientific and engineering tools until the laserjet arrived on the scene.
    • Yes, the new IBM Regatta processors just announced last week have the fasted SPECint and SPECfp perfomance. They dethrone the 2GHz Pentium 4 as the SPECint king, and the lastest Alpha (21???) as the SPECfp king.
  • Nice to see at least one company isn't firing people these days..
  • what we need are (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jailbrekr ( 73837 ) <> on Saturday October 06, 2001 @04:33AM (#2394913) Homepage
    more engineers working on open source cores. more innovative ideas and concepts being experimented on. moores law is slowly breaking down, and as such, we need to find a way to get fresh ideas out in the open. what we need is to break away from the traditional model and start looking at some of the more esoteric ideas being thrown around. asyncronous, vliw, or a delightfully bastardized combination.

    Hell, I think we should bring back the 6502 core, but that is only because I am fixated on 6502 assembly code. dont mind me, I'm a freak.
    • And who is going to fabricate these open source processors? You gonna build them by hand?
      • The idea behind open-source is that the information is free and free to alter. The information in this case is the chip internals; the actual chip may still cost many $$, just like Red Hat's Linux costs many $$ even though (almost?) all the software included is available for free.
      • Mosis? [] Should be only a few 10's of K to get a batch of your favourite CPU whipped up.

    • Hell, I think we should bring back the 6502 core, but that is only because I am fixated on 6502 assembly code. dont mind me, I'm a freak.

      Go play with the ARM -- smells like a 6502...

  • by AaronStJ ( 182845 ) <AaronStJ@gmail.cUUUom minus threevowels> on Saturday October 06, 2001 @04:34AM (#2394914) Homepage
    Alpha is gone, PA-RISC is going, what's going to be left? MIPS? SPARC? AMD? Crusoe?

    Zilog, of course! The greatest CPU to ever go without MUL/DIV intructions. It's a wonder it's not used in more modern computers. If it's good enough for your Gameboy and you calculator, it's good enough for your desktop, I say.

    ...Now If only I could find a Linux distro for my TRS-80...
    • Don't forget the Z-80.
      • Um, that's what he meant. Anyway, the 6502 kicked it's ass. Ok, it was slower but it's Instruction Set kicked the Z80's ass and look at the machines it was in - I'll just drop two names: C64 & BBC Model B. Now that rocked.
    • It's not good enough for gameboys or calculators. The TI-89 runs Motorola, as does the Game Boy Advance.
      • No. Gameboy Advance uses an ARM chip.

        The Gameboy Advance is perfectly matched in power to the 2D gaming heyday machines (back when the PeeCee _really_ sucked) like the Amiga, Archie, ST, SNES, MegaDrive - games companies have a massive back catalogue of 16 and early 32-bit games suitable for porting to GB Advance, such as the entire SNES library, the entire Amiga library, etc, etc.

        Now you know why games companies were still suing people distributing the "old" roms and disk images - they want to sell them all to a whole new generation of punters, but on handhelds.

        I actually like seeing amiga and snes classics on a teeny tiny handheld, with the gfx, sound and gameplay intact...
        • Would I buy Earthbound on GBA? Yes. I bought it on SNES last July, and I'd like to play it on a system that's barely larger than the original cartridge.

          I probably should have done research on the GBA cpu, but at least I got the TI-89 right. Symbolic integration that's smaller than my keyboard... *drool*

      • It's not good enough for gameboys or calculators. The TI-89 runs Motorola, as does the Game Boy Advance.

        The Gameboy Color uses a z80 workalike, and the TI-82, TI-83 and the TI-86 all use geniune z80s.
    • Alpha didnt have a DIV instruction either. They figured out it was rarely used in other processors and implemented it in software along with the MOD instruction..
    • From a bumper sticker tacked to the wall in an electronics store about 15 years or so ago:

      God uses a Z-80 when He can't get a 6809

      The 6809 was a dream to program for, even if you constantly wished for just one more register, but it was Motorola's last great random-logic decode processor. And it even had a Unix-like OS in the form of Microware's OS/9. In the end, the microcoded 6811 won out because it had a big customer: the automotive industry. The 6811 was designed for anti-lock braking applications.

      But then Motorola came out with the 68000, which was like a 32-bit PDP-11, and IMHO that was the greatest instruction set of all time. I bet lots of you reading this even have one in your pocket or on your desk (PalmOS runs on a 68K).

      And Sega even came out with a machine that had both a Z-80 and a 68000: the Sega Genesis. Forget Linux for the TRS-80, how about Linux for the SegaCD?

      • The 6809's indexed indirect addressing modes were funky. (Slow, but funky.)

        I've got a couple of Qix arcade boards kicking around that I should do something with: Dual 6809's (one for game logic, the other for video), a 6802 for sound, and strangest of all, an RS232 port on the board.

        Perhaps it's time to sacrifice my Atari ST colour monitor and actually build a Qix game.
      • Damn right! First learned assembly on the 6502, looked at the Z80 briefly, then saw the 6809... Kick ass chip. Was a work of art.

    • Oddly enough ZiLOG [] is still around (though the've done weird things to the capitalization), and they still sell Z80 and Z8 CPUs (though they prefer to call them "microcontrolers"). Much to my suprise, they even sell the Z8000, the first microprocessor to run a serious port of Unix. (These early low-end systems from Onyx and Zilog itself [] are long gone, of course.) And of course, Zilog is no longer owned by Exxon, which once thought the Energy Crisis was God's way of telling them to go into a new line of business.
  • by Bongo ( 13261 )

    all your brains are belong to us

  • Hey, can someone explain the second half of the article to me? What the hell does Heidi Roizen dressing up as a cheerleader or nurse (sketchy) have to do with the employee transfer???????

    • What the hell does Heidi Roizen dressing up as a cheerleader or nurse (sketchy) have to do with the employee transfer?

      Absolutely nothing.

      The page has three stories on it, but they didn't clearly indicate when they go to another story. They did something like 'Doctor in the house: Venture capitalist Heidi Roizen has been known ...' without bolding anything.

      They also get the link to the VC firm wrong. It's NOT

      Very sloppy website.
    • It's part of another article. I think someone forgot to change the formatting on the section titles, though i think it's quite weird they didn't start a new page altogether, or at least put a bigger heading before the new section.
    • It's to drive home the fact that Rozen has better legs than Fiorina.

  • Who here is shocked by this news? HP has been helping (er, okay, basically designing for them) with the Itanium for years now. Is it really big news that Intel is hiring their chip designers?
  • IBMs power4?
    or what about the PowerPC and its variants?
    2 VERY nice architectures, and arguably the only ones other then sparc that dont seem likely to get gobbled up by chipzilla
    • IBMs power4?
      or what about the PowerPC and its variants?
      2 VERY nice architectures, and arguably the only ones other then sparc that dont seem likely to get gobbled up by chipzilla

      Interesting that you refer to the Power4 and the PowerPC as two seperate architectures. They're basically variants on the same architecture; IBM makes both of them, and Motorola also makes PowerPCs. This is why you can run the same Linux distribution on an RS/6000 as an iMac.
      • Nope, you can run Linux on the PCI PowerPC RS/6000
        . PowerPC has some elements of the POWER architecture, it is like a subset of it, but not 100% compatible. The Linux version running on the POWER4 is a custom port by IBM, not the plain linuxPPC. Just as a clarification.....

        There are 2 lines of RS/6000 one is POWER based and the other is powerPC. Althought most of the newer models are POWER based, IBM seems to regard the PowerPC arch for embedded systems....
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday October 06, 2001 @05:11AM (#2394953)
    Fiorina, who's heard such complaints before, calls the HP Way ``a wonderfully convenient and evocative and emotive umbrella to throw all kinds of complaints under.'' In actuality, she says, the philosophy was underpinned by the commitment of HP's founders to doing what was best for the company.

    ``Dave Packard would say, `The most important thing is for a company to be profitable, period,' '' Fiorina says. ``He also was fond of saying, `This is not a democracy.' ''

    It looks like Carly is turning out to be just another golden-parachuter. With an approach like that towards managing HP, she wants to turn it into a glorified Dell. Unfortunately for her, the Dell we already have is pretty darn good and commodifying HP's business is not doing what is best for the company. Don't be surprised to see her making that golden sky-dive in a year or two, while HP's share price continues to make that bright-red sky-dive we've seen for the last year or so...

    • Saw something a couple of days ago calling her the most powerful female executive or most powerful new executive or something along those lines and my first thought was "Yeah, look how much faster she's run HP into the ground than anyone else would have been able to do.".
      • "Yeah, look how much faster she's run HP into the ground than anyone else would have been able to do.".

        Heh, I was thinking the same thing...but you forget that Gil Amelio an J.L Gausse should be given a chance...just have to hit the reset button to bring HP back to its pre Carly dayz.

        Oh, and IIRC Itanium == IA64, before *ntel bought the Alpha, the IA64 was not happening because of IP conflicts (disputes of some sort).

        My memory may be fuzzy on the chain of events but it seems to home in on this:

        IA64 can be read as "Intel's Alpha"64.

        All your RISC are belong to us (yeah its a running gag, still funny at here ya ninny)

    • by Apotsy ( 84148 )
      I used to work for HP.

      At the time, I was very, very proud to say I worked for them. I bragged about the fact that I was employed by a company that had, in the 1970s, decided to give everyone an across-the-board pay cut rather than go through the ordeal of layoffs. And I should point out, that decision was made based on a survey taken of the employees by upper management. Hey Carly -- what was that you said about HP "not being a democray"? Yeah, right. You don't even know your company's own history!

      Today, I am no longer with HP. But if I were, I'm sure I would no longer be proud to say I worked for them. You are absolutely right, Fiorina is nothing but a golden-parachuter. She doesn't give a damn about running a solid company with long term prospects, which is the way HP has always been run. She's just like every other CEO these days. She just wants to get those big, fat bonuses, even if she has to destroy the company to do it! HP is just another line on her resume as far as she's concerned. Hell, the American economy was much worse in the 1970s than it is now, and HP decided not to lay anyone off. These days, Fiorina is laying people off left and right! And does she have any sort of long term strategy for the company? No! HP is running around like a chicken with its head cut off, darting from quarter to quarter with no eye toward the future.

      I'd sell all my HP stock, but it's pretty much already worthless anyway, thanks to Carly Fiorina. Ugh.

      • I think she's sucked bigtime. But I also blame the Board of Directors and Mr. Platt, too for hiring her in the first place.

        HP has (had) no reason to look outside their company when they hired a new President. Fiorina was from Lucent, and probably played a big role in their current troubles. Why would any sane company hire a President with NO COMPUTER EXPERIENCE?

      • I bragged about the fact that I was employed by a company that had, in the 1970s, decided to give everyone an across-the-board pay cut rather than go through the ordeal of layoffs.

        That's something to be proud about? Laying people off is a good opportunity to get rid of the weakest employees across the board and the least productive (middle management specifically).

        An across-the-board pay cut is mostly a strategy to get rid of the best and most-productive employees who can get a full-paying job elsewhere.
  • The Zilog Z80 and EZ80 [] with embedded TCP/IP stack and web server. Kick-ass little chip. My first programming was done in Z80 assembly in the very early 80s.
  • I think if HP cannot feed them anymore, its best to hand them over to somebody else that could ensure their welfare, eventhough handing them to Intel. Remember, we're in an economic downturn, so don't blame 'em for this... Slandering them just doesn't help... The only unfair part was:

    What raised some eyebrows is that the workers weren't given the choice of applying for other jobs at HP.

    Something's fishy here. Now, people would assume that this is one of the things they're up to after the merger... This could damage their reputation, apparently...

  • Hmm... So, to create the "best" processor, Intel needs to basically buy all the competitors or steal their employees? This sounds familiar, doesn't it? CoughMicrosoftCough!

    But seriously though, I think the processor market is tougher to get into than the software market. And it's pretty tough to create an open-source, GPL microprocessor. And breaking into the market would be tougher than breaking the open-source OSes has been so far.

    If Intel were to become a very-near-monopoly, would they exert the same pushiness that Microsoft does? I think so.

    Anyway, just some things to consider when you're buying that new computer...

    • Intel/IBM used to be a monopoly; in fact, AMD made Intel processors. Then AMD decided to terminate their contract with Intel and make their own processors, and they've become a very sizable force. Not only that, unlike Microsoft where you need to have Windows to run Windows software, you can run Intel software equally well, if not better, on AMD than Intel's own processors. There will always be a market for someone to make non-Intel processors that can be thrown straight in an Intel motherboard and work. That's how AMD started, by letting people put K5's into Socket 7, and if they die another company can start making Socket 426 (something like that) processors that can be used in Pentium 4 mobos.
  • by gnomer ( 179654 ) on Saturday October 06, 2001 @05:36AM (#2394972)
    I am an engineer in HP's primary PA-RISC processor development lab. I still work for HP. I still work on PA-RISC chips as do hundreds of my co-workers. Let me be clear about this: HP is NOT getting rid of its PA-RISC line or selling it to Intel or anybody else.

    The group that was transfered to Intel worked on chipset development for some of HP's servers and workstations. Because of the economic conditions, it was deemed unfeasible to keep that group in HP, so instead of laying them all off, a deal was worked out to give them jobs at Intel. I'd say the engineers in that group are in a lot better shape than many of my other co-workers across the company who just got layed off in August.

    Anyway, my point is that PA-RISC isn't dead. There are still a lot of people working on both CPUs and chipsets. We will be doing a number of iterations yet of the PA processor family before HP transitions to using IPF in the long term (we're talking years from now). Ignore the classic /. sensationalist headline and try to get the facts.
    • Well, guess what HP will keep PA-RISC for a while just as a hedge. The writing's on the wall. though and it's TTL is short. As for ignoring /. headlines what has HP done to dispell the rumours of the demise
      of PA-RISC? Need I say more?
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Saturday October 06, 2001 @05:55AM (#2394986) Homepage Journal
    Not my official HP hat on, folks. I'm making this posting on my own, not speaking for the company.

    Before you protest too much: They are adding Linux positions, and the money has to come from somewhere.

    HP has been transitioning its processor operation to Intel for years. HP partnered with Intel to develop the IA-64 architecture. Did anyone think that PA-RISC would continue in parallel to that forever?

    The world has some very serious single-source issues regarding high-end silicon in general. The fabrication lines have become so incredibly expensive as chips become more dense that most companies have given up on new CPU fab construction. And you can't make new chips with those old FABs. Perhaps we'll be lucky and there will be a revolution in microfabrication technology, but I've not heard of one on the horizon.

    Another place where this hurts us is in high-end graphics, where we are down to two manufacturers.

    I'd like to see more work on Open Sourced processor designs that run in field-programmable logic. This is a place where we can innovate without the expense of a fab, and then when we have good ideas that get proven, people can fab them.



    • Processor design (and GPU design) is Hard!

      The fabrication is merely expensive.

      But the reasons the two are related is purely political - it's got nothing to do with complexity or electron gap widths or anything else in the physical realm... (c.f. Transmeta Vs TAOS)

      I've said in the past I'm a hardware prostitute - as long as the hardware keeps getting faster I just don't care who the vendor is.. I'm gonna concentrate on the software because that is where the interesting (geopolitical) battles lie for me: Reliability and functionality...

      Anything else is just dollars and posturing -
      the consumer just plain doesn't benefit...

      So I'm happy for Intel to swallow the processor design market - PowerPC is still viable in my opinion and will remain so for some time. As far as I can tell, the production side has long been dominated by nepotism and greed and is boring to boot...

      In contrast, the design side seems to benefit from economies of scale - a quick look at the patent libraries tells more about the politics of the situation (which in my experience tend to trump the design complexity issues) than a comprehensive look at the design decisions do.. (4 Chips for a CPU - WTF???)


      Disclaimer 1: My company receives funding from intel

      Disclaimer 2: I'm not speaking for my company.

    • Bruce, that line about fabs is what HP has been saying ever since they announced the IA64 partnership with Intel. The problem with that reasoning, as another poster has already pointed out, is that designing a cpu is not contigent on owning a fab. Sparc, MIPS, Transmeta - they are all fabless. Even PA-RISC has been fabless for a long time now, it is common knowledge (well, at least common among comp.arch readers) that the last three generations of PA-RISC have been fabbed at Intel and IBM fabs rather than an HP facility. There is little technical reason to prevent that scenario from continuing indefinitely.
  • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Saturday October 06, 2001 @05:59AM (#2394989) Homepage

    I remember seeing McNealy speak some years ago at a tradeshow (I don't remember exactly when or where). He explained some of the economics of CPU design and predicted that in a few years there would be only three major architectures: SPARC (Sun), PowerPC (IBM), and Intel. It's kind of creepy how his predictions have come true.

    His arguement was based on financial analysis of how much it cost to develop and maintain a competitive architecture, and how much revenue each of the big players could expect from their designs. HP was doing comparitively well at the time, but McNealy figured they were using revenue from printers to subsidize their chip business, and that couldn't go on forever.

    Alpha was still a viable competitor at that point, but again it comes down to volume. You might get a team of crack engineers together to design a beautiful CPU, but if you don't get the volume (or high margins like IBM mainframes) then you can't afford to keep the architecture competitive.

    • The MIPS architecture still has a long way to go. SGI have recently opened up a development centre in Boston to continue work on the R10000 upwards chips, whilst MIPS continue developing all other MIPS cores.

      Even if you don't have a lovely O2 sitting on your desk, your playstation(1|2) and N64 are both MIPS machines.
    • Intel's x86 architecture is probably the worst thing out there today, and it's still used in almost every PC in the world.
    • Sun cannot afford to continue developing its own chip line. It's latest line of chips were 2 years late, and grossly underpowered. Their saving grace is their bus and i/o architecture as well as the tons of legacy software that depends on Sparc. Ironically, the Sun developed Java language will ultimately cause the biggest migration away from Sun/Sparc and into Intel's hands. Perhaps Sun is aware of this, and is figuring out the cost structure of their JVM licenses for this inevitability. Java will not remain free for more than a year or two.
    • You're forgetting the ARM - that's the world's most popular embedded and otherwise architecture. How do you think ARM Ltd. can make so much money purely from licensing? Everybody's making them. Goddammit, even Intel are making them!
  • by phaze3000 ( 204500 ) on Saturday October 06, 2001 @06:44AM (#2395018) Homepage
    Why did the poster feel the need to adopt such an anti-Intel tone? Diversity is all well and good, but the fact of the matter is HP had no market need for these people. Would the poster rather they were unemployed, or doing jobs that weren't using their potential?

    I for one congratulate Intel for giving these talented engineers jobs.

    • Because this is /. and the 'editors' apparently, while picking stories from the submissions bin, give priority to summaries that have an anti-microsoft, anti-government, anti-intel, anti-[insert the rest here] slant.

      They get more page hits that way.

      I used to take /. story summaries with a grain of salt. Now I have one of those water softener blocks next to my PC.
  • by megaduck ( 250895 ) <> on Saturday October 06, 2001 @07:19AM (#2395028) Journal

    HP is getting out of the chip business. HP is getting out of the OS business. They are acquiring Compaq, who is also leaving the OS and chip businesses.

    My question is this: What now differentiates HewPaq from say, Dell? The only thing I can think of is HP's printer business, but I don't think that alone would be enough to keep them afloat. I'm genuinely curious. What is HP doing to keep themselves relevant?

    • What makes you think HP is getting out of the OS business? HP has major labs supporting and extending HP-UX all over the country. HP has also been instrumental in porting Linux to the IA64 platform. Dell doesn't have high-end computing solutions. Where in their line up is anything that compares to Superdome? Don't get me wrong, Dell is doing quite well in the pc business. However, this doesn't equate to being equal to HP as far as enterprise level equipment and solutions are concerned.
    • HP is a big name in instrumentation and lab electronics. Need a 50GHz scope? HP will propably be on your short list.
      • Not anymore! They spunn all that of to Agilient. They now are another boxpusher, sure a large one but still...
      • Not anymore, they got rid of their wonderful lab equipment portfolio: Agilent is its new name, I think (the name must be another product of the 'horrible corporate naming machine', that has brought us such marvels as Avaya, Agere, Accenture...)
  • I wonder when the FTC will start taking a closer look at the situation Intel is finding itself in? There is VERY little serious competition to IA64 and it's not because it's the better product. Disclaimer: I USED to work at API until all us Alpha folk got laid off. I'm not bitter; quite the contrary, I was glad to move on! However, there's a HUGE number of people out of work and going out of work to Compaq's (and to a MUCH lesser extent, API) bungling of Alpha and selling out to Intel just prior to public announcements of HP buying Compaq. We'll never know the details but the FTC should take a closer look.
  • MMIX [], of course.
  • From the article:

    "HP transferred an entire server-chipset group there en masse in exchange for undisclosed considerations."

    How did Slashdot ended up with this title: "Intel Gets PA-RISC Engineers" ????????????

    The article clearly says 'server-chipset group', not 'PA-RISC group'
  • My company develops for HP-UX and solaris. We actually sell (indirectly) about 400 M $ worth of HP-UX and Solaris servers. That's a lot!
    Well, there have been many in product management that were dismayed at HP's feet-dragging commitment to hteir own platform. HP has been yoyo-ing back and forth between WindowsNT and HP-UX a bit too much, and this might be the nail in the coffin, as far as our platform of choice is concerned. We'll probably standardize on Sun computers. If it happens, I must say HP really did it to itself.

  • PA-RISC processors doesn't suck. They are high performance chip, unlike Sparc processors that have been disapointing. The chip itself was pretty well designed and improvement where made in a logical way. Who in '95 had a workstation that could play mpeg at 30fps with only software decode (PA-7100LC, aka PA-RISC 1.1c)?
    The HP9000 are expensive, but made to last. The Sun Netra t1 aAC200 are cheaper, but the failure rate so far has been abysmal (maybe we where unlucky) and performance sucks (barely overperform a P2-400 and cost about 4000$).
    For HP-UX, while I have to agree that HP-UX 9.xx and before did suck, it's been quite a while that it's not supported anymore and 10.20 is out (1994). They don't have the latest toy, but are reasonably up to date, managable, predictable and so far the Unix the more stable I've seen.
    The Itanium had been made by HP and Intel, it currently run HP-UX and can run HP-UX applications from PA-RISC systems without recompile. The transition was IMHO planned, maybe it could have been called IA64/PA-RISC3.0...
  • PA-RISC is/was a great chip. The PA-8000 series was especially impressive. I'm sad to see this happen. Teaming up with Intel was probably the worst mistake HP has ever made.
  • Scary.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tcc ( 140386 ) on Saturday October 06, 2001 @11:06AM (#2395279) Homepage Journal
    Intel manages to keep the prices over two times higher than an AMD with SAME performance... while I don't really care about the graphics industry right now (ATI can manage to arm Nvidia for the comming year or two, plus they have diversified fields of interrests as well to back up the company), but I am worried by Intel. In comparison, Nvidia brings you quality, performing, and rather cheap parts if you don't want to go to the top of the food chain... Intel by comparison, they are good desing (the chips don't toast, the heat sinks are easier to install than on AMD, etc) but poorly performing and WAY overpriced.

    If they can manage to sell some stuff over 2 times the price of an "equivalent" AMD part, what's going to happen if AMD dies or has a major problem with the next product cycle in a year or 2 from now? Forget about crusoe, I'm talking high-end CPUs, x86 renderfarm nodes, etc...

    Anyways I do my part, I buy only intel when *really* needed, i.e. when I'm instructed to, or when the programmer needs an SSE2-capable CPU to do his optimisations. Else I try to support AMD the best I can... I am about to build another renderfarm and it'll be using TigerMP an AhtlonXP processors. They need support, and Intel needs to see that it's pricing scheme is bad.
  • The next iNTEL CPU is kind of the next HP PA-RISC anyways. HP and iNTEL were doing IA64 together so it's just a way to make sure they didn't have to work over company boundries. I would have been happy if that happened to me.
  • It's very expensive to be in the chip business, which these days is best left to chip specialists like Intel. A decade ago, hardware was key to being able to provide enterprise solutions, a mainstay of HP's business. But now, solutions can be based on all kinds of already available hardware. The keys to success are implementation and service, not which chip is under the hood. So at this point, the chip business is just an expensive diversion for HP. It ought to be whacked.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't think most of them will last at Intel--even for top-level engineers, Intel runs an unpleasant and demanding working environment.

    And, well, that's probably going to do a great deal of harm to HP. Because if this is how they treat their some of their best line employees, how will they treat the rest of them? HP, historically, has been an unusually good place to work. But I think this is a public sign of the end of that.

    I wonder how long before all the high-tech manufacturers are unionized?

    (Anonymous post because it is entirely possible that Intel keeps blacklists. It's not cowardice, it's caution, and it's going to become more common.)
  • Alpha is gone, PA-RISC is going, what's going to be left? MIPS? SPARC? AMD? Crusoe? "

    *cough* PowerPC *cough*

    IBM is still running quite hot with the power4, and motorola, though they have their heads up their asses, is assisting them with the next gen PowerPC.

    yes, there's still MIPS and SPARC.. and even AMD (though they're essentially an x86 clone).. and what do they all have in common? they're not controlled by Intel, for one, but they're also all.. wait for it.. RISC

    even the next gen intel chips are going risc-ish.

    okay, no more martinis in the early afternoon for me...

  • Alpha is gone, PA-RISC is going, what's going to be left? MIPS? SPARC? AMD? Crusoe?

    Y'all forgot about PowerPC. It's not only alive and healthy, but actually growing!

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.