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Intel Shipped 1 Billionth Computer Chip 350

murat submitted linkage to a simple little story that proclaims that Intel has recently shipped it's One Billionth Chip. Quite an impressive accomplishment... it took them 25 years to reach the billions, but they estimate that they will hit 2 billion by only 2007.
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Intel Shipped 1 Billionth Computer Chip

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  • by SpanishInquisition ( 127269 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:40AM (#6160729) Homepage Journal
    any beer to go with that?
  • by rootofevil ( 188401 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:40AM (#6160736) Homepage Journal
    blah blah blah 999999999th chip blah blah blah divide error blah blah blah

    all futher jokes are now redundant
  • by frieked ( 187664 ) * on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:40AM (#6160737) Homepage Journal
    ...Unfortunately their count was thrown off a bit during the early Pentium years... They've really only shipped 999,999,999.999239230823 processors
  • by mb12036 ( 516109 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:42AM (#6160758)
    Would you like fries with that?
  • Yeah but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    Call them the McDonalds of the chip world.
    Soon, their slogan will be "Billions and Billions of chips shipped" (then maybe McDonalds could sue Intel for trademark infringment! woo!)

    My question is how many of those chips are stil actually being used today? huh? How many of those 8086 chips are in use today? (maybe NASA still uses a few, eh?)

    And of course, my final question: Sure, 1 billion chips.. but how many transistors have you shipped on those 1 billion chips?
  • by numbski ( 515011 ) * <(ten.revliskh) (ta) (iksbmun)> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:42AM (#6160765) Homepage Journal
    "But why have billions when we can have.....millions?"
  • by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) * on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:43AM (#6160768) Journal
    AMD released it's AMD-1Billionth today, which the company states is actually rated as it's 17,275,000th processor.

    • AMD released it's AMD-1Billionth today, which the company states is actually rated as it's 17,275,000th processor.

      However, the RIAA announced that actually AMD shipped the equivalent of 3 billion MP3 encoders, mostly straight to music pirates.
  • Now if only they could sell a chip to everyone in China...they'd surpass that 2007 estimate handily!
  • Grats to them (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Xenius ( 626318 )
    I suppose congrats are in order for Intel. Wonder if AMD will ever reach one billion? The real question is....when are they releasing the 3.2Ghz and some price cuts to go along with it?
    • "The real question is...."

      The real question is when will the Athlon64 (aka Clawhammer) CPUs be in full production? The survival of AMD is not riding on the AthlonXP 3200+; it's riding on the success of the Athlon64. The K7 has just about reached its architectual limits, and is fast becoming a legacy product that's more trouble than it's worth to AMD. The K8 is where AMD has poured much of its R&D into over recent years, and it's probably the biggest gamble they've ever taken. K7 was designed extraordi
  • I wonder how many of them got buried?

    Conversly, I wonder how many of the early ones (8088, et al) are still being used?
    • "Conversly, I wonder how many of the early ones (8088, et al) are still being used?"

      Look to NASA for your answers to questions such as this. They're still using a lot of the old, old parts because that's what the equipment and the software were designed to work with. Aside from that, they've had ample time to fully test the old stuff, making sure that their CPU isn't going to fail or perform unexpectedly when human life and multi-billion dollar projects are on the line. I seem to recall reading about NASA
      • That begs the question of course: rounding up really dirt old parts and verifying that they work is a very labor intensive process.

        Now ask yourself: are the running a museum or a space program? I realize a board requires thousands of dollars worth of labor to re-design and certify. But we are spending BILLIONS on the project every year. If that money is not going into R&D, where is it going?

  • Some peddler^Wsalesman running Intel will no doubt formulate his own version of the sales curve. Seems like the peddlers always take over, even the fun stuff.
  • by select * from ( 593191 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:44AM (#6160789)
    Intel ships its 100th Itanium processor.

    By 2007 it should reach the 200 milestone.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The article is talking about the billionth x86 chip, not just the billionth chip of any kind. If you included ALL the IC chips that Intel has made since being founded, the number would be closer to 10 billion I would predict.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:45AM (#6160798)
    Citing Intel's recent announcement that they have shipped over 1 billion CPUs, and the fact that they have not licensed a billion copies of DOS/Windows, Microsoft has launched a piracy investigation. "It's clear that there are CPU's out there running Windows illegally. The numbers simply do not match up." said Microsoft counsel Mike Rebadow. "We've of course accounted for IBM DOS and DR DOS sold in the 80's, as well as OS/2 which licensed Windows, but that still leaves hundreds of millions of CPUs unaccounted for. Piracy is the only way to explain this."
  • (You know the pose.)

    "One billyun chips..."
  • OK, the article actually says 1 billion computer chips. The early CPUs only had 29000 transistors; the new ones have about 50 million. Some of the support chips don't have so many transistors. But I think we can safely assume an average of 1 million transistors/chip over this time period. So we get an amazing one trillion (10^15) transistors! WOW!
  • by pir8garth ( 674943 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:47AM (#6160818)
    The intel family of PC processors actually started with the 8080. It was released in April 1974 running at 2MHz, and is generally considered to be the first truly usable microprocessor design. It was used in many early computers, and formed the basis for machines running CP/M. The first single-board microcomputer was built on the basis of the 8080. The 8088 was actually released before the 8086, but as the article states the 8086 was developed first.
  • it took them 25 years to reach the billions, but they estimate that they will hit 2 billion by only 2007.

    According to Moores law every quantity in the semiconductor industry doubles every 18 months, so they should reach 2 billion by the end of 2004. Are the laws of nature themselves being defied? What does this mean for the quest to find the universal field theory? Let's hope they've just done their sums wrong.

    • what an awful troll. sigh. i'll bite (obviously)... moore's law says transistor density will double every 18 months. not speed, not sales, not size of your penis, and obviously not your capability to troll.
  • 10^9th CPU (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:48AM (#6160829) Homepage
    It sounds like this is actually the billionth *CPU* from Intel, not the billionth chip. Intel produces quite a lot of other silicon in addition to the CPUs it is best known for, and I suspect that Intel actually passed the billion *chip* mark many years ago.

  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:48AM (#6160836) Homepage Journal
    That's more than 1 per second since 1 billion seconds is almost 32 years.
  • by pschmerg ( 621240 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:49AM (#6160847)
    I hear they're planning on releasing a new chip to celebrate this milestone. The chip will be based on the p4 architecture, and will be known as the p4 Type S. It will feature speed increasing kanji stickers, sporty wing, and a custom fan guaranteed to dull your hearing.

    All these new features will come at a bit more of a cost but are guaranteed to increase your cpu's power by 50%.
  • by WC as Kato ( 675505 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:50AM (#6160851)
    AMD gave them a run during the 1GHz era but Intel is now ahead of the competition. I'm sure that the competition helped Intel reach this billion mark faster than it would have without competition. AMD with its once faster and cheaper chips helped lower the prices of Intel chips.
    Competition is good for the consumer. Let's see what happens with Intel's prices now that there're on top.
    • Actually, while Intel does have a firm hold of the high end chips, AMD is still killing them in the lower end chips. If you want the fastest computer around, get Intel. But for everyone else, who is looking for the biggest bang for their buck, is buying AMD.
      • I disagree on the basis "fast" is subjective. For example, Athlon XP processors kick the P4 at doing bignum math [something I'm active in]. My 1.53Ghz Athlon would routinely beat out a P4 2Ghz by 25% or more.

        There are really only three good reasons to buy a P4

        1. Cost. It comes with a Dell

        2. Heat. P4s are wickedly better at managing heat.

        3. Multimedia. SSE2 when used properly can woop an Athlon.

        Outside of those three reasons there isn't any other real reason to use a P4. The ALU and FPU of the
    • " AMD gave them a run during the 1GHz era but Intel is now ahead of the competition."

      I'm sure you don't mean to imply that Intel is far out front of AMD, right? I mean, every bench I see puts the AthlonXP 3000+ pretty close to the P4 @ ~3GHz. The newest P4 on the 800MHz FSB pulls ahead slightly more, but then you have to look at the AthlonXP 3200+ on the 400MHz FSB, which is due out soon and competes quite well with it. There's no doubt that Intel has the performance crown right now, but AMD is most certa
  • by Lord_Slepnir ( 585350 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:51AM (#6160873) Journal
    There have actually been 50 billion chips shipped. "Some of these chips, such as the 3.06ghz, are as much as 100 times faster than others, allowing pirates to encode music 100 times as fast. Thus, for our numbers, Intel has shipped over 50 billion chips" said RIAA president Hilary Rosen.
    • There have actually been 50 billion chips shipped, because everyone on earth (~6 billion) wants an average of about 6 computers running on the intel chipset; 2 of which are dual processing machines. Therefore 49 billion have been pirated.
    • AMD has shipped its 1,000,000,000+th CPU. An AMD spokesperson told us the number is not to be compared with Intel's shipments. Instead it based on the ratio of pin count of shipped CPUs. A CPU with twice as many pins as an AMD 80386 gets a shipment rating of 2+. With the recent launch of 4-way Opterons, AMD expects to reach 2,000,000,000+ mark next week, the spokesperson added.
  • by Bvardi ( 620485 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:57AM (#6160931)
    I'm thinking they should go with
    "Over 1 billion Server'd" ;)
  • what about 4004? (Score:4, Informative)

    by eggplantpasta ( 74715 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:57AM (#6160934) Homepage
    From the article...
    "Remember the 8086? That was Intel Corp.'s first microprocessor for personal computers in 1978"
    I was sure that intel had a 4004 in about 1971... followed by the 8008 and 8080.
  • Wow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by foxtrot ( 14140 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:58AM (#6160944)
    That is one hell of a beowulf cluster!
  • So... (Score:4, Funny)

    by richie2000 ( 159732 ) <> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:58AM (#6160951) Homepage Journal
    How many chips would a chipmunk ship if a chipmunk could ship chips?
  • by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:59AM (#6160955) Homepage Journal
    shipped it's One Billionth Chip.

    In an unrelated story, Slashdot served up its one billionth page containing a CmdrTaco grammatical error...
  • Moores law (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mozkill ( 58658 )
    ok, so does this mean it will take half as long to get to the 2 billionth computer chip?
  • Uh huh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:05AM (#6161009)
    they estimate that they will hit 2 billion by only 2007.

    Unless AMD64 takes off, that is...

  • by Cruel Angel ( 676514 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:08AM (#6161042)
    If I recall, in the 486, and possibly 386 days, didn't AMD manufacture over 20% of Intel's processors? I'm sure in the big picture it wasn't all that many, but how arbitrary is this 1 billion?
    • If I recall, in the 486, and possibly 386 days, didn't AMD manufacture over 20% of Intel's processors? I'm sure in the big picture it wasn't all that many, but how arbitrary is this 1 billion?

      Well, according to the article: (boldface mine)

      "...Intel has shipped its 1 billionth computer chip, according to figures compiled by semiconductor industry analyst firm Mercury Research and verified by Intel."

      So yeah, I bet they're counting all kinds of chips they outsourced to others (like AMD). I wonder how many

  • Mean clock speed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ktulu1115 ( 567549 )
    I wonder what the mean clock speed of those ::with pinky to chin:: 1 billion chips is?
  • Thats..... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cackmobile ( 182667 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:25AM (#6161217) Journal
    a lot of silicon. Imagine how many implants could be made from them!
  • whose estimate? (Score:2, Insightful)

    It isn't Intel that proclaimed they have reached their 1 billionth chip, it is Mercury Research that made the claim. Additionally, it isn't Intel that estimates they will reach 2 billion by 2007, it is again Mercury Research that makes the estimate. Until Intel comes out and says they have (which I think would be a milestone that they would proclaim quite loudly), I'm a little skeptical. Additionally, shipping one billion chips has nothing to do with Moore's law, only with good marketing :)
  • I'm sure they've sold far more then a billion 'chips' in their days. I wonder if they are only talking about 'desktop' CPUs or are including embedded versions of the x86.
  • just remember (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Even if all those cpus were operational and in computers - that would only be one for every sixth person in the world.... that scares me.

    Blah-blah half-the-world-has-yet-to-make-a-phone-call: I know poverty is something you can easily ignore, and that (asides from being offtopic, or is it?) it probably gets brought up in the wrong way by people with good intentions try to change your mind. I hope this will be a little different.

    In addition to our computers, we have a telephony system upon which to ne
  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:33AM (#6161292)
    Remember TI ships more chips each year than Frito Lay! Yeah they aren't as sexy or nearly as high margin as x86 cpu's but they are the little microcontrollers that make computers basically ubiquotous in our world.
  • by ewg ( 158266 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:35AM (#6161320)
    I wonder what fraction of these one billion have already been obsoleted and are now sitting in landfills?

    Given Moore's Law, I'll bet it's a high share.
  • Gotta be in the sextillions, right?
  • by DotComVictim ( 454236 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:50AM (#6161452)

    13139006 * e^(.17329 * x)

    Where x is in years is the cumulative output of Intel.

    This allows us to calculate with high accuracy the size of Intel's production line, a secret coveted by industry insiders. Differentiating, we have:

    2276816 * e^(.17329 * x)

    Thus, Intel currently has 173 million processors in various production stages.
    This allows us to calculate another secret, coveted by all geeks - the true value of an Intel CPU.

    Intel's current market capitalization is 141.6 billion US$. Based on their Q1 2003 quarterly report, 53.6% of their cost of production (including R&D and other expenses) goes into the Intel Architecture business unit.

    If we know the size of the production line, the current valuation, and the percentage dedicated to CPU production, we can compute an average valuation for an Intel CPU.

    Each current issue Intel CPU should be worth, on average .536*141.6e9/173e6 dollars. That works out to $438.67 Current list prices for the Intel Pentium III, 3.06 GHz, range from $365-$759.99, with an average price listing of $459.53.

    Conclusion - for every current release Intel CPU you buy, on average you are being ripped off by about $20.86, about 4.75% the value of the product. That is less than sales tax, and doesn't seem like the work of a greed hungry power monster.

    Any similar statistics on Microsoft's product valuation would be highly interesting.
    • Er... differentiating would give rate of production, which on its own isn't enough to tell you how many are in production at the moment.

      If you're working with years as the time unit, assuming rate = current number in production is equivalent to assuming it takes a year to make one chip...

      Unless you got the 173 million figure from somewhere else?

  • It's a fluff peace, but it reminds one of how much has gone on in the last few decades and how much has changed.

    Remember . . .
    When we wouldn't worry about more than 256 colors on a monitor?
    When we only needed 640K of RAM?
    When a 30-gig hard drive was big?
    When a penguin was just something cute you saw at the park?

    Now, lets see what changes during that next billion . . .

  • FYI (Score:3, Informative)

    by mercuryresearch ( 680293 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @12:05PM (#6161588) Journal
    Just to clarify since a few of you were wondering and we're the source of the information: - It's 1 billion x86 CPUs (8086 thru P4, all flavors). No 8080x, i960s, Xscale, etc is counted. - Intel's figure is 1 billion. AMD is about 200 million units of x86 for the same time frame. Also, Intel never comes out and says what their own data shows, primarily due to reasons related to stock,the SEC and the competion. There were some hints that Intel probably reached 1 billion before external researchers thought they did, but nothing official.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas