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Intel

Intel to Spend $2B To Stay In The Game 365

hexed_2050 writes "AMD has declared dominance in the gaming and server microprocessor market in 2004, and Intel needs to respond.. fast! This is why Intel has planned to spend 2 billion dollars to upgrade their eight year old, Fab 12 plant in Arizona. "Part of what I do is put the emphasis on how fast we respond," explains Robert Baker, Intel's top manufacturing executive."
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Intel to Spend $2B To Stay In The Game

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  • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:39PM (#11199944)
    wow, what an amazingly negative quote.

    is Intel resigned to only "respond" to AMD from now on, never to lead again?
    • Nothing negative about it. Intel is responding to increased pressures to produce better products by upgrading one of their fabs. What's wrong with that?

      As a side note, it's nice to see them pumping money into US fabs.
      • So.. they can make more chips faster, that is, the same more expensive slower Intel chips.

        How is having more stock sooner of chips nobody wants going to give them dominance?
      • As a side note, it's nice to see them pumping money into US fabs.

        I totally agree with you. Does anyone know how much chip production actually goes on inside the US these days? Is it not cheaper to do it all in China?
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Why would it be cheaper to do in China? Sure, they could pay the fab workers poorly; have 14 hour shifts; and 7-day workweeks -- but the cost of the people is a tiny piece of running a fab.

          And with the value of the equipment and the cost of downtime, you don't want oppressive working conditions because mistakes from such practices will hurt your yield.

          With out the traditional benefits of abusing laborers in sweatshops, I don't see the point to running a high-tech fab there.

    • by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:50PM (#11200039)
      is Intel resigned to only "respond" to AMD from now on, never to lead again?

      Intel's problem isn't how fast they respond but rather something else entirely: a patent.

      That patent is Silicon on Insulator [ibm.com]. It is owned by IBM. AMD has been using it some time now and it has allowed their processors to use less power than with conventional silicon. It is rumored that Intel approached IBM in order to license this technology but that IBM wanted to trade tech instead of making a cash deal.

      So Intel is playing some cat and mouse with IBM. Right now, the IBM guys are probably laughing at the power consumption of Intel's processors - they're winning. So, in the near future, when you see that Intel has licensed a pretty bit of their technology to IBM, don't be surprised. Intel needs SOI and they're going to pay dearly for it.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Not true. Intel's chips run hotter primarily because of design decisions, not manufacturing technology.

        Witness the Pentium-M as proof.

        SOI is moderately helpful, but it's not the biggest factor.
    • I am a bit skeptical about the article though. Do we have real numbers to back up the "AMD has declared dominance in the gaming and server microprocessor market in 2004"? Last time I checked [slashdot.org], it was only for one week and intel still had 82.7% market share...

      Anyone has a source?
    • Negative, but realistic. I think Intel's response will be a completely new approach, much like AMDs was.

      I think they might respond by pulling legacy 16-bit support completely out of their chips (which I'm led to believe is costing them about 30% of their chips' "capacity" (as measured by power consumption and real estate) and replacing it with an emulator. While that might be a hugely controversial step, Microsoft took a similar leap when they jumped to 32 bit operating systems, and it proved to be pret

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:13PM (#11200246)
        I think they might respond by pulling legacy 16-bit support completely out of their chips (which I'm led to believe is costing them about 30% of their chips' "capacity" (as measured by power consumption and real estate) and replacing it with an emulator.

        Um ... Intel has been doing something like that since the Pentium Pro, and all out that since the P3. The instruction set you put in and the instruction set it actually runs are totally different beasts. The internal micro-ops even get access to more registers (check out "register renaming")
        • Um ... Intel has been doing something like that since the Pentium Pro, and all out that since the P3. The instruction set you put in and the instruction set it actually runs are totally different beasts. The internal micro-ops even get access to more registers (check out "register renaming")

          Thanks for the clarification. I know there is still some kind of issue with legacy support, and I failed completely to research it before posting :-(

          But my initial point is still that I think Intel will trot out s

    • Not at all. Intel is at a disadvantage because it is so massive, while AMD is better able to respond to market demands. Thus, Intel correctly sees a problem and tries to change it, so that they may remain the dominant player in future markets and come future trends.

  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aggrazel ( 13616 ) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:39PM (#11199949) Journal
    Say what you want about Intel, but I'm happy to see they are investing $2 billion in an American plant, instead of sending those jobs away. Course, it could be that with the dollar falling they couldn't afford as much in other places... another reason why I think the value of the dollar going down isn't necesarily a bad thing.
    • Re:Nice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Momoru ( 837801 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:42PM (#11199972) Homepage Journal
      People that are anti-bush administration like to say its a negative thing that he is "letting" it fall, but really his economic team has been purposely talking down the dollar for years, its a sneaky way of fighting outsourcing of jobs and the trade deficit, because asian currencies are pegged to the dollar, and they are so heavily invested in it, that they either need to float their currencies (to curb inflation) or invest in more dollars to keep the dollar value high. Its a win-win for America and and a lose-lose for the developing world which is overly dependant on the dollar, and the low exchange rate.
      • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

        by zeux ( 129034 ) * on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:54PM (#11200074)
        ... except that this is very risky because OPEC countries are losing purchase power with the falling of the dollar.

        Don't forget that they do 60 to 70% of their business outside of the dollar zone and that a dollar losing 1% also means that they lose 1% of their purchase power on 60 to 70% of their imports.

        That's one of the reasons why they let the oil prices go up this year (to compensate for the loss) and that's another reason for them to look into the switching to the petro-euro instead of the petro-dollar. That would be catastrophic for the US.

        Read my sig to get further details.
        • Re:Nice (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Momoru ( 837801 )
          All the more reason to become less reliant on middle eastern oil!

          Though i'm not sure how easy it would be to switch to petro-euro, because although the euro is attractive now, the EU is used to running at trade surpluses, but if the euro stays so high they will begin to have trade deficits, which would cause a larger european economic problem. Also the dollar is still the worlds reserve currency. Although your conspiracy theory in that link is interesting, I think you overestimate the oil-lobby vs all
          • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

            by zeux ( 129034 ) * on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:17PM (#11200277)
            Also the dollar is still the worlds reserve currency.

            This is changing too, and this is very bad for the US too. 2 weeks ago China said that they were now getting Euros along with Dollars as their reserve currencies.

            Russia and North Korea did that too. If this trend amplifies, be ready for a huge inflation in the US.
            • If this trend amplifies, be ready for a huge inflation in the US.

              Can you please explain how a switch in the world's reserver currency
              leads to huge inflation in the US?
              • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

                by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:30PM (#11200408) Homepage
                Can you please explain how a switch in the world's reserver currency leads to huge inflation in the US?

                As soon as the dollar ceases to be a reserve currency, banks around the world will sell off their US dollar reserves. That puts a large number of USD onto the international markets, pushing the price down.

                Anything imported into the US -- or locally manufactured using imported parts or raw materials -- suddenly becomes more expensive.
                • Including the prices for raw materials, which are increasing right now. This month, gold reached its highest price in 16 years.
                • Worse, even, is that the fact that our currency is the world's reserve currency is one of those things that lets us have a national debt bigger (proportionally, even!) than Argentina's and not have our economy react like theirs did. If the dollar loses its reserve currency status before that debt is paid down, we're going to be feeling the pain. The economist did a bunch of articles about this a couple issues back. They can be found at http://www.economist.com/printedition/index.cfm?d = 20041204&CFID=
              • Re:Nice (Score:2, Interesting)

                by Anonymous Coward
                Surel. Many asian currencies are artificially pegged to the dollar [forbes.com]. If this changes, and they're allowed to float to the dollar (perhaps being pegged to the euro instead - if it becomes the international standard) - these currencies will go way up compared to the dollar; causing inflation here. fixed exchange rates [google.com] are wierd political things; but basically, like tarrifs, taxes, and threats of military invasions, it's a tool countries use to encourage certain types of trade - in this case US investments an
              • Re:Nice (Score:5, Informative)

                by Dot.Com.CEO ( 624226 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:51PM (#11200641)
                The only thing keeping your economy afloat, despite of HUGE deficits and insane economic policies (cutting on taxes while increasing on military spending etc.) is the fact that all first and second world countries base their own economies on the dollar, partly because there was no alternative before the euro came into play, and partly because it was a Marshall-era remnant.

                The moment the dollar loses that unique place, as a pillar of financial stability, economies around the world swap dollars for euros at an ever dropping rate. The dollar is 1.36 euros now, while two and a half years ago it was 0,85 or less, I cannot remember. Generally speaking, this trend has not been worse only because the Chinese (of all countries) are supporting the dollar buying enormous amounts of it on the markets.

                The way your economy is going, and the way the euro guarantees its own stability through various WORKING mechanisms of the ECB, it is undeniable that in the next twenty years or so the Euro will be where the dollar is today. And since your whole economy is supported by outside economies, it is very probable it will collapse. Why? Well, its exchange rate will hit the floor and will bring huge price hikes to anything that is not made 100% in the US. Which is, everything.

                So, when you vote for "less taxes", you put one more stone in the end of the great American empire. I, as a European, shake my head and wonder whether you Americans have any idea what is happening in your country...

            • Re:Nice (Score:3, Interesting)

              by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) *
              <i>be ready for a huge inflation in the US.</i>

              Be ready? It has already arrived! Gas is 120% higher than in 2000, housing 15-100%, postage up 25%, milk up 30%, most vegetables up 20-30%, whole chickens are $2.00/lb... We're in an expensive war in the middle east and local taxes are skyrocketing...

              Inflation is here already, but has been "adjusted" away in the CPI.

              Soon enough it will become affordable to manufacture things in the US again, and the new Chinese industry will be bankrupted by cur
        • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:24PM (#11200346) Homepage Journal
          They didn't "let" prices go up this year. The prices went up because of speculation over political instability in Venezuela, Russia, Iraq, and Nigeria affecting output. It got to the point where the various OPEC nations were pumping veritable crap out of the ground (stuff that has less of the useful hydrocarbons) in order to boost the overall numbers to try to push things down. OPEC knows it has a PR problem, since it's seen as a bunch of money-grubbing sheiks that only want to bilk the world for cash. Quotas were set as high as the nations could reasonably pump, and some nations even went higher, risking damage to equipment, in an attempt to push things down.

          Of note to the conspiracy theorists is that prices didn't start dropping until well after the election was over, although many were predicting an October surprise with OPEC providing some massive drop in oil prices. In spite of their views, the prices continued reaching record levels, and it wasn't until news came that oil consumption in China was being slowed by additional tariffs Beijing placed on imported oil in an effort to slow consumption growth, followed by word that US oil use was down and that on-hand stocks were growing, that prices began to come down.

          OPEC is happy when oil is around the $35 per barrel range. It's not so expensive that they get slammed in the press, and not so cheap that they make no money.
          • Well, I said it was ONE of the reasons.

            Take a look there [americanprogress.org], you'll see that that makes sense. They have a nice chart showing the correlation between oil prices rising and the dollar falling. Interesting.
          • Re:Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

            OPEC is happy when oil is around the $35 per barrel range. It's not so expensive that they get slammed in the press, and not so cheap that they make no money.

            I agree. It's the old setting your price point curve to maximize revenue. OPEC knows that if oil really got up into the $80-$100 barrel range people would start making lifestyle changes and start to be forced to find other energy avenues. They definitely don't want that happening.
          • Actually, some sources (the Economist being the main one I'm drawing from) are saying OPEC is going to cut quotas in an attempt to forestall a price crash. Its looking like they're currently happy when the price is around $50-$54 a barrel.
      • More complicated. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by khasim ( 1285 )
        So Bush wants the dollow low compared to other currencies which are pegged to the dollar ... ... but then he runs up massive debt which is paid for by bonds sold to those same countries.

        That means they have a 3rd option. Re-peg their currencies to the Euro and let the US economy crash. It's a lot of short term pain for them, but a lot more short term and long term pain for us.
  • by Grey Ninja ( 739021 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:39PM (#11199952) Homepage Journal
    I remember back when AMD announced a 64 bit desktop CPU. The common consensus was that they were completely daft, and other than the rabid early adopters who buy anything... it wouldn't do all that well, given that PCs are still tied to 32 bit software.

    Now fast forward a year or two, and AMD is on top, and Intel is trying to play catch up. I never would have dreamed this would happen. I really have to tip my hat to AMD.
    • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:47PM (#11200014)
      I remember back when AMD announced a 64 bit desktop CPU. The common consensus was that they were completely daft, and other than the rabid early adopters who buy anything... it wouldn't do all that well, given that PCs are still tied to 32 bit software.

      The only thing that saved AMD in this regard is that AMD64 chips run 32-bit code faster (for most software) than any of the Pentiums. Microsoft seems to have helped out it's old partner Intel by delaying Win64 until Intel managed to clone AMD64. Heh, that is quite a switch - Intel cloning AMD. ;-)

      At least Linux for AMD64 has been available for some time...and it's great to see Sun pushing Solaris for AMD64 also.

      Now fast forward a year or two, and AMD is on top, and Intel is trying to play catch up. I never would have dreamed this would happen. I really have to tip my hat to AMD.

      Yes, all this and lower power consumption (than P4) to boot. There should be some sweet notebooks and servers coming out over the next few months also, as the true low-power Athlon64s and Opterons roll out.


      • Yes, all this and lower power consumption (than P4) to boot. There should be some sweet notebooks and servers coming out over the next few months also, as the true low-power Athlon64s and Opterons roll out.


        While I agree that Athlon64 and Opteron are superior to Intels offerings in the desktop and server market, I have to say that Intel really hit the nail on the head with the Pentium M. While the P-M won't match a high clocked Athlon64 performance-wise, it's still plenty fast and uses very little power.
    • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:49PM (#11200024)
      Yes, they really did a quite incredible job with the Athlon 64. Not only does it run 32-bit code, but it runs 32-bit code better than their 32-bit-native processor? That is EXACTLY what's needed in the 32-to-64-bit transition, and they executed it excellently.
  • by confusion ( 14388 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:41PM (#11199960) Homepage
    It seems to me that Intel's problems are not just of the fabrication sort. They've fallen behind with innovation, which is where AMD is starting to kick their butt. Sure, Intel needs a plant to back up new designs, but if they can't get their heads back in the game, that plant isn't going to do much.

    Jerry
    http://www.syslog.org/ [syslog.org]

    • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:43PM (#11199979)
      reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon:

      PHB: "we're a large company an can't compete with these small, nimble companies. the good news is that at this rate we'll soon be the smallest company around."
    • Innovation? I don't think on AMD's part there was a TON of innovation behind the AMD64.

      Read some of the technical documentation behind the two 64bit processors each put out. Intel's IA64/VLIW architecture is much more technologically impressive than AMD64's.

      What made AMD64 so great was the fact that it stayed so true to the x86, it's almost like a souped up version. It's backward compatible and if you do any assembly/hardware stuff, it tends to be very similar. So much in fact that you still get many
  • Marketspeak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thunderstruck ( 210399 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:41PM (#11199961)
    I wonder if this isn't just Intel trying to reverse the spin on AMD's announcement.

    1. AMD announces they're top dog.
    2. Intel decides to minimize the effect of this by bragging about how much money they can spend.
    3. Neither is looking at any immediate, dramatic, change in business because processor sales follow seasonal patterns more than Ad campaign release dates.

  • I think Intels turnaround is anything but fast, and I think they have to far more responsive to the changes in the processor market than they have been so far. AMD is on the up and Intel is partly responsible for this, what with their flawed introduction of the Itanium and their steadfast reliance on the again Pentium 4.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:43PM (#11199976)
    I heard the same thing after ATI came out with R300. nVidia is going the way of 3DFX. Now AMD seems ahead and those that think Intel is the evil empire are praying for it to disappear. It ain't going to happen. I'd venture to say the long-term prospects are better for Intel than AMD. For consumers, the pitched ATI/nVidia battle has been good. Same thing for AMD/Intel. Tough competition brings choice and lower prices. I hope Intel moves fast. I don't want AMD ruling the market anymore than I want Intel.
    • I don't want AMD ruling the market anymore than I want Intel.

      In that case you should be rooting for AMD as long as it doesn't break 50% marketshare. It's currently at 15%. Competition is a good thing.

      In the meantime, I say buy the better product - AMD. :-)

    • Except that Intel has never really competed on price.
      Their response always seems to be a marketing ploy (which doesn't benefit
      the consumer at all).

      Maybe AMD's strength will force their hand.
    • When Barrett took over, AMD was at best a minor annoyance to Intel, a percentage point off of the quarterly revenue. Now AMD is stealing marketshare. Bye Craig, you will not be missed.
  • The 64-bit realm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hexed_2050 ( 841538 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:43PM (#11199978)
    Intel has its chance to make the jump into the 64bit market and decided it was better to hold on to 32bit processors at the time. And it probably wouldn't have been a bad idea, if they had a plan to deal with the heat issues in their prescott line of processors. 33% more power for 5% less performance does not sit well with the market (prescott vs. northwood)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:47PM (#11200012)
    I work for Intel, and I also RTFA. It's not about gaming, and as much as it pains some of us, it never has been for Intel.

    Gaming is a niche market. The reason AMD can do well with it is that it's a botique market, and they produce so many less chips than we do.

    Look, MY ego's been undergoing enough thrashing lately. Gamers, it's your turn: The reason AMD is dominant in the market segment is a past Intel decision to concentrate on MHz rather than FPS. There's money to be made in gaming chips, sure, but not all that much compared to corporate desktops and laptops.

    Sure, the world of processors is changing, but Intel is adapting to the overall MARKET, not merely to AMD's strategies and successes.

    Side Note: How come you anti-globalization folks aren't applauding Intel for expaning a facility in the USA? Hmm? Where are AMD's chips made again?

    • Intel is adapting to the overall MARKET, not merely to AMD's strategies and successes
      I dunno.. AMD chips if ur lookin at speed vs money, seem to be a better deal.. isn't that what businesses should be looking for?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        No.

        Businesses look for somebody else to blame. It's the first thing they "teach" you in MBA "school". Make sure somebody else can catch the blame. Hopefully you can blame a black, a jew, a gay, a woman, or some crippled person. Save the white straight male at all costs.
    • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:58PM (#11200114)
      is a past Intel decision to concentrate on MHz rather than FPS

      Translation: At Intel we decided to put our effort into having a CPU that had an insanely high clock speed, which we decided was much more important than actually getting the CPU to do a lot of processing, which would help contribute to higher frame rates for games and higher output for most users. Our evil competitor AMD realized that it was important to have the computer do something with the cycles they used, and built CPUs that not only did more, but did more at slower clock speeds. We are trying to figure out why this allowed them to win in a market we previously owned, but so far we've only come up with this MHz rather than FPS marketing phrase.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Today's high-end "gaming machine" is tomorrow's pokey desktop office box.

      Interesting to see how an Intel employee is now deriding higher-performing AMD CPUs as "about gaming" and basically implying Intel doesn't care about that "boutique" market.

      And to admit Intel's all about marketing labels like MHz instead of true processing power (derogatorily refered to a mere "fps" here....).

      Yeah, Intel's "adapting to the overall MARKET" - with an admitted marketing strategy centered on the fact their clock just happe

    • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:02PM (#11200154)
      Gaming is a niche market. The reason AMD can do well with it is that it's a botique market, and they produce so many less chips than we do.

      I call BS. Intel has plenty of resources to go after all kinds of different markets. Further, AMD chips do better at many other kinds of applications. Even further, Intel went so far as to rebadge very expensive Xeon chips (Pentium 4 Extremely Expensive Edition) to go after the "unimportant" gaming market. Finally, for most server usage, Opteron vastly outperforms Xeon, especially for multiprocessor servers.

      Sure, the world of processors is changing, but Intel is adapting to the overall MARKET, not merely to AMD's strategies and successes.

      I hope your company has a high rate of adaptation, it'll need it.

      Side Note: How come you anti-globalization folks aren't applauding Intel for expaning a facility in the USA? Hmm? Where are AMD's chips made again?

      Yes, that's nice, though I'm quite sure Intel made the decision based on dollars and cents rather than any warm-and-fuzzy pro America sentiment. Good PR doesn't hurt either - and Intel could sure use some. ;-)

      It should also be pointed out that AMD could soon be manufacturing chips in East Fishkill, NY if Forbes is right [forbes.com].

    • Intel has fab plants overseas, so does AMD, It's nice to see Intel expanding the US plant, but it's also been rumoured that AMD is opening a second US based fab.. (in addition to thier Austin, Tx one)
      Yeah the dresden Germany fab is thier higher volume fab, but opening a new fab in NY could shift the ballence to made in the usa. I highly doubt this 2b fab upgrade for intel is going to shift margin, most likely it's just required maintenece costs to keep the plant running.
      Intel's roadmaps from some 2-3 years

    • There's money to be made in gaming chips, sure, but not all that much compared to corporate desktops and laptops.

      That seems to be Matrox's theory also (younger people here might be asking who the hell is Matrox?). I wonder if it's working for them.
  • Story time (Score:5, Informative)

    by buddha42 ( 539539 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:49PM (#11200030)
    AMD has declared dominance in the gaming and server microprocessor market in 2004?

    What is this "make shit up for the headline" hour? Lets see what a professional news organization has to say: http://olympics.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type =technologyNews&storyID=6960222 [reuters.com]

    AMD trimmed Intel's share in PC-based servers in the third quarter, taking 8 percent of unit sales, up from 6.9 percent, according to IDC.

    ...
    AMD also saw slight gains in unit share for desktop and notebook PCs. It now has 18.4 percent of the desktop PC market
    ...
    Intel nevertheless held onto its overall dominance of the PC microprocessor market, retaining 81.2 percent of the overall share of units, off slightly from 81.7 percent.
    • wrong metric (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mapmaker ( 140036 )
      I believe the poster meant performance dominance, not sales dominance.

      Opterons are dominating Xeons in 32-bit server performance right now and they will dominate them even further in 64 bit performance once Windows Server and Solaris 10 go 64 bit in the next couple months. Athlon FX processors are dominating Prescott P4's in 32 bit gaming performance right now and will dominate them even further in 64 bit gaming performance when XP64 is released in March.

      And then there's the dominance in stock perform

  • by Anonymous Coward
    They neglected to mention the location was Arizona, India. Its a new company town Intel is building.
  • by Twillerror ( 536681 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:50PM (#11200034) Homepage Journal
    Yey, slashdot started a AMD/Intel FanBoy battle.
    Can we just admit that both have a lot of strengths, and that Intel or AMD ain't going anywhere and be done with it. When you go to store to buy your next CPU, buy the one you like and leave the rest of us the fcuk alone.

  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:52PM (#11200054) Journal
    They aren't "staying in the game", they are the game.

    Wake me when AMD provides complete solutions, chipset, motherboard, with integrated audio and video.

    Intel is upgrading because 8 years is a long, long time for a modern chip fab. The "we'll make chips cheaper than AMD" crap is just investor PR.

    AMD is only a threat to but one small fraction of Intel's business.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like Via and nVidia have the chipsets and Asus/Abit/whoever do motherboards and they make great designs for AMD chips, and they're not too pricey. I just put together an Athlon 2600+ box. The chip itself cost $80 and the Asus A7V880 was $60-something. Now let's see, a P4 that has real-world performance (not clock speed) comparable to that Athlon would probably cost over $100. I'm perfectly happy with this AMD box. The Athlon works great, the A7V880 has onboard audio and
    • Considering that only Dell and HP largely use those unified chipsets with everything integrated, and largely only on their low-end machines, I don't consider the availability of an all-in-one solution as big a deal as you seem to make it. 'sides, VIA offers the very thing you talk about- even makes a good office machine for most setups.

      What you mention isn't relevent- really, it isn't.
    • I'm curious: why do you think an integrated solution is important in the marketplace?

      I don't think making chips necessarily qualifies a company to be a mobo maker. AMD is focused only on their core business: producing powerful chips. They've left the mobo market alone (other than to provide reference boards) because there are other manufacturers out there who specialize in motherboards.

      I guess I don't see the relative advantage of singlesourcing the system boards. Having an Intel board in my machin

  • Money (Score:2, Interesting)

    by go3 ( 570471 )
    For my accounting class, I did a financial comparison between Intel and AMD, and the results were quite shocking. I'd never bothered to look indepth at financial statements until then, and I'm amazed that AMD is still going despite having trouble posting a profit. While AMD may be in the lead technologically, the company is still a financial basketcase. The question is whether AMD has the ability to parlay it's lead into actual monetary gains.
  • by bje2 ( 533276 ) * on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:52PM (#11200059)
    take all the money that's going into those crappy blue man group commericals, and use it for some R&D...i hate those commercials...
  • Intel blew it when they cared more about advertising, clock speed vs. work done, and their precious high margin that looked so good to investors. This is the fault of Intel's corporate culture. The ability of your product, not its appearance or attractiveness to investors, is what matters. Hooha for AMD.

  • Wrong conclusion... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:54PM (#11200076) Homepage Journal
    AMD got the lead because they offer better performance for the same price or better price for the same performance (or somewhere inbetween). Intel WON'T win the race by spending more money on much faster, much stronger and much more expensive hardware. Do you think they will let these $2B just evaporate? They will try to get it back in processor prices. And that's their way to failure.

    Other thing besides competing in CPU prices Intel could do would be to remove overclocking cap (say, by overclocking you void warranty, if they want to protect themselves from people who burn their CPUs) and possibly limit other such monopolist practices that people just perceive as customer-unfriendly.
    • first off, I'd like to see some evidence that shows that AMD has dominance in the server market...or even the home market.

      second, you invets money to make money. Intel will invets into it's plant, and then recoup with a more competitive product. It will also be recoup over time, allowing them to recoup the moeny by selling more processors.

      I wont by AMD, they have burned me twice, and they show very little in the way of RnD.

      • I think you misunderstand the idea of competition/competitiveness.
        Few doubt Intel makes -better- processors. Yes, better quality, better top speed, better reliablity. But worse bang for the buck. In times when AMD competed with Cyrix and such, and their CPUs were vastly worse than Intel, everyone had to think twice before buying the "cheaper" one. Now the differences are minor and buying Intel is a gesture of extravagance or paranoia - because all qualities of AMD are just satisfactory and what Intel gives
  • "AMD has declared dominance in the gaming and server microprocessor market in 2004: I've yet to see an AMD equipped server. If even 5% of all servers are equipped with AMD processors I'll be amazed. This reminds me of when the CEO of Pepsi released a book deatailing how Pepsi "Won the cola wars". I'm sorry if your still #2 in sales you didn't "win" and if you have only begun to break into the marked you certianly aren't "Dominance" For one, I think that AMD is doing great things with their new stuff (been syaing for years they need to do more than just clone Intel CPUs) and that Intel would be wise in paying attention to what AMD is doing but declaring dominance, at least in the server market is kind of like Ralph Nader declaring victory in October.
  • Uhm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The only reason I buy AMD processors is because they're cheaper than Intel for the equivalent processor speed. If Intel wants my business back, they need only lower their prices below those of AMD.

    Plus my system has been unstable for a long time and I am afraid my AMD cpu or motherboard may be to blame. Perhaps that fear is unfounded... I don't know... But peace of mind is worth something, and I have never had any reason not to have faith in an Intel CPU.
  • Dominance... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by acidblood ( 247709 ) <decioNO@SPAMdecpp.net> on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @12:58PM (#11200118) Homepage

    AMD has declared dominance in the gaming and server microprocessor market

    AMD may declare what they want, but the numbers speak for themselves. I strongly doubt anyone can provide numbers showing that AMD is ahead of Intel in the server market (though I may grudgingly concede the gaming market).
  • by Mulletproof ( 513805 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:04PM (#11200169) Homepage Journal
    "Part of what I do is put the emphasis on how fast we respond," explains Robert Baker, Intel's top manufacturing executive

    And it gives me goosebumps just wondering what the other part of his important job is... Aside from the fact that you should have been proactively whooping AMDs cache to begin with, not responding to their dominance.
  • Over time most companies 'on top' get too bloated and are unable to keep up with market demands fast enough to stay there.

    Look at IBM, or TI ( thats Texas Instruments, for you youngins around here. )

    That said, when does our beloved microsoft get to that stage? I hope its soon.. Along with the 'media industry'....
  • They still rock in one spot, the mobile processor market. I just got a new laptop with their Centrino processor and it's awesome. Loads of power, and I can run for 3 hrs easily. I was looking for a similar offer from AMD but to no avail.

    But yeah in the desktop/server market in general I'd give AMD first pick now. Truly the innovator at this point.

    Also I'd be nervous if I were AMD, a quick glance at the balance sheets shows Intel has a helluva lot more working capital then AMD, it's amazing what a
    • They still rock in one spot, the mobile processor market. I just got a new laptop with their Centrino processor and it's awesome. Loads of power, and I can run for 3 hrs easily. I was looking for a similar offer from AMD but to no avail.

      Look out, you've been eaten by the marketing drones. Centrino is nothing more than a lame marketing name [wikipedia.org] for a laptop containing a Pentium-M processor, an Intel 855 chipset, and one of 2 Intel wireless chipsets. It's incredible how highly people esteem "Centrino", particul

    • oooooooooo 3 hours!!!! wow... I can get 5 on my iBook.
  • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:08PM (#11200199) Homepage Journal
    The problem with the opening statement from CmdrTaco is that this plant upgrade is not solely due to AMD's dominance in the gaming market. Remember, people, Intel makes a hell of a lot of other chips besides microprocessors. The article even states that AMD is considered to be the leader in automation processors. There is only a brief mention of gaming systems in the article, and Intel has other threats besides AMD. So, CmdrTaco's opening statement is somewhat misleading of Intel's reasons for this upgrade.

    Regardless, one of the reasons why I prefer AMD is price/performance. Most of the benchmarks that I've seen in addition to my personal experience make AMD the clear winner in this scenario, particularly for gaming. AMD chips run cooler, take up less electricity, and cost less than their Intel counterparts. But that's only a small part of the competition's offensive against Intel. Intel now realizes that.
  • by swm ( 171547 ) <swmcd@world.std.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:08PM (#11200202) Homepage
    From In The Beginning Was The Command Line: [cryptonomicon.com]
    ...it was the case until recently that the people who wrote manuals and created customer support websites for commercial OSes seemed to have been barred, by their employers' legal or PR departments, from admitting, even obliquely, that the software might contain bugs or that the interface might be suffering from the blinking twelve problem. They couldn't address users' actual difficulties. The manuals and websites were therefore useless, and caused even technically self-assured users to wonder whether they were going subtly insane.
  • fanboys (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:12PM (#11200233)
    Geee...lets see: Intel has 85% market share and has a market cap of over 10 times that of AMD. Intel operates at a profit margin of 22.68% whereas AMD is at 2.89%. And yet the fanboys are declaring "AMD's dominance". How pathetic. Wake me up in 2015 if AMD still "dominates".

    Maybe the fanboys should compare some basic financial statistics of Intel [yahoo.com] and AMD [yahoo.com]. This stuff doesn't change overnight.

  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:12PM (#11200237) Homepage Journal
    I don't mean this in the "News for Nerds" sense - it's just that this is part of the normal business cycle. If you all recall, AMD took a lead during the "MHz wars" a few years ago when they hit 1 GHz first with the Athlon. Intel ramped up and recaptured that lead, but with an architecture that wasn't as efficient (the P4), but even though AMD retained the performance lead the little bit of momentum they brought into the mainstream desktop war was dissipated.

    Plus, Intel had bet the farm on Rambus back then, and when that panned out they had to play catch-up. They eventually caught up. Then AMD hit a nive niche with the Athlon 64, but it's still a blip relatively speaking. Gaming is a niche market, and so are servers (though a bigger niche). Sure, AMD is the leader in gaming, but Intel has the volume, overall market share, and roadmap to compete where most of the dollars are. Plus Intel sells everything including the motherboard to vendors - AMD doesn't.

    So Intel revamping a fab isn't really that big a deal. Heck, at the volumes they deal in, $2 billion is almost play money for them. We'll see how both companies manage the next transition - for market share to change appreciably towards either company will require either a major leap forward (not likely) or a major misstep (much more likely). Meanwhile, both companies will keep on pouring money into the fab for each now generation of chips, and continue until someone blinks.
  • Por years now, Intel has been focusing on marketing first and technology second, I'd say ever since the PIII to P4 transition. By focusing on technology that played well with focus groups (i.e. more MHz at any cost, efficeincy be damnned) instead of a more scalable long-term architechture roadmap, they've pipelined themselves into a dead end. Even with this move, they're touting it's public relations impact rather than technical breakthroughs.

    AMD in comparison, puts the horse before the cart. They build

  • Complacency kills! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Cancelled ( 572486 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:17PM (#11200279)
    Intel screwed itself out of a market, clear and simple.

    When AMD began offering cheaper, but equally capable CPU's (Thunderbirds, Celerons), Intel chuckled about how they ran much hotter than their Intel counterparts. All the while AMD was eating up the low-end PC market.

    When AMD began telling the world about their 64-bit plans, Intel chuckled about how the world wasn't ready for 64-bit. Additionally, they pushed their way-overpriced 32-bit Xeon's whenever anyone brought up 64-bit server CPU's.

    When AMD began talking Opterons, Intel talked about their outrageously overpriced, and seldom utilized Itanium technology.

    And when 64-bit AMD chips began to outsell Intel chips, Intel dragged their feet on adding 64bit extensions to their own chips.

    Intels attitude seemed to be one that dooms nations, individuals, and companies: They were too arrogant and complacent!

    They knew that they were the CPU kings of the world. They knew that the same company that had stolen the low-end PC market could never threaten their corporate market. They knew that 64bit CPU's were not needed yet, and they knew that they could basically put out what they want, when they wanted to, and that people would beat a path to their door, simply for the Intel brand name.

    And now they know they were wrong.

    Face it... Nations fall when they ignore the barbarians at the gate. People fall when they think they're more important than they are, and companies fall when they ignore the competition, and their target markets needs.

    Intel wasn't developing what people wanted, they were developing what they thought people needed. There's a huge difference there. When creating art, you can do things your way. When manufacturing product, you do so to create what the market wants. Intel got it backwards, and their current state shows what happens when you do: Roadmaps tore up, lackluster sales, and a company that's now trying to re-invent itself, just to stay competitive in a market that it once owned.

    Intel screwed up! It is the 21st century's IBM in a way, and as IBM had to do in its day, Intel must now change in order to stay alive in this industry it created.
    • Intel is much more than CPUs.

      Intel CPU market is much, much larger than the "gamer" or "enthusiast" market.

      In fact, Intel hardly gives a rats ass about that market. Only recently did they release a motherboard (Hey, when's AMD going to release a complete solution including chipset and mobo?) that supported any sort of overclocking. Even then it was a very half-hearted attempt at competing with other mobo makers, not AMD.

      Intel's not going anywhere any time soon, in fact, I predict that Intel is still ar
      • It seems AMD's the one in trouble. They sell their shit so cheaply that profit margins are razor thin for them. They have to own this gamer market, any real competition in that arena could spell out the end for them.

        Er, no. AMD is also doing very well with it's server and workstation chip, the Opteron. Thus, it's ASPs (average selling prices) are rising, which is a good sign long-term.

        Intel could undercut them and eliminate them, if they chose to do so.

        At least if there weren't anti-dumping laws.

        BT

  • "Part of what I do is put the emphasis on how fast we respond," Frist upgrade in 12 years, yeah man, way to respond fast. Maybe if the plant was upgraded 4-5 years ago when AMD first started digging into their market share, then maybe they would stand a chance.
  • Bank for your buck (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gandell ( 827178 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:23PM (#11200332)
    The reason I'm looking at AMD for my next upgrade is price. I simply get more for my money with AMD than with Intel.
    Intel's spending 2B to upgrade its facilities, but who's paying? We are, that's who. So if chipset prices go up again, AMD will still be on top for the cheapskates among us.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:27PM (#11200385) Homepage
    When XBox 2 comes out neither Intel nor AMD will be the main players in the gaming market. The main players will be IBM, NVidia and ATI.
  • Fab 12 = OLD News! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <abacaxi.hotmail@com> on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @01:29PM (#11200401)
    Hey guys ... Intel has been working on that rehab for quite a while. It's not in response to AMD's anything, it's just part of the plan.
  • "Part of what I do is put the emphasis on how fast we respond," explains Robert Baker, Intel's top manufacturing executive." Robert Baker "I've come to put you back on schedule"
    Minion "But, Lord Baker, my men are working as fast as they can. The Emperor asks the impossible."
    ....
  • Dothan is key (Score:3, Informative)

    by asliarun ( 636603 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2004 @02:44PM (#11201122)
    Surprisingly, in all the comments, hardly anyone has given importance to the one amazing card that Intel holds: Dothan.

    Anandtech review on Linux performance on Dothan:-
    http://www.anandtech.com/linux/showdoc.a spx?i=2308

    Yes, everyone agrees that Prescott is too hot and doesn't quite match up to the FX-55 and its descendants. Shut up already.

    Dothan's a different cheetah though. With it's mind-bogglingly cool thermal envelope, a moderately overclocked Dothan holds up to a FX-55 (which is a pretty hot processor, albeit not in the Prescott level) in most cases. Best of all, Dothan delivers GAMING performance almost as good as the top of the line AMD offering: FX-55. There's also tons of headroom for overclocking a Dothan to further increase its performance. All this when Dothan is not even running DDR2, PCI-E, or a performance optimized (as opposed to power optimized) mobo! Come Alvisio, things will get even better.

    If Intel sheds a bit of Prescott ego, and it's already showing signs of doing so, and adopts Dothan variants for its upcoming desktops, it will whup some serious ass. Believe you me.

    The only sadness is that current Dothans and especially their desktop mobos are horribly expensive. I'm just waiting for the prices to come down in the next 6 months. Can't wait to get my hands on a passive cooled, super silent Pentium M desktop that delivers the same performance as all these over-hyped FX-55s and Prescotts. Heck, i'm even willing to take a 10-20% performance hit, as long as i don't need to use an industrial exhaust fan or liquid nitrogen coolant. I can always make up for the processor performance by spending more on a graphics card anyway.

    I love processors, not brands, btw. Hats off to the Israeli design team that pulled the P-M rabbit out of their hat!

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