Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

2005 Good Year for Power Architecture 181

An anonymous reader wrote to mention an IBM article looking back on what the piece calls the best year ever for the Power Architecture. From the article: "While IBM is considered by many to be an 800lb. gorilla, in the microelectronics space, it is actually very small -- last year IBM was way down at number 21 on the iSuppli list of the top 25 semiconductor suppliers worldwide. Now, that isn't necessarily a bad thing: for instance, it means that IBM Semiconductor solutions is small and nimble and competitive -- and this agility (coupled with the fact that we do get to share Research and some other resources with the parts of IBM that are 800lb. gorillas) has led some to predict that the IBM chips division will be named the fastest growing semiconductor supplier of 2005. In fact, there is a very good chance that IBM may regain the coveted #18 spot on iSuppli's list this year!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

2005 Good Year for Power Architecture

Comments Filter:
  • spot 18 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @03:37PM (#14375263)
    "there is a very good chance that IBM may regain the coveted #18 spot on iSuppli's list this year!"

    Whats so special about spot 18?
  • IBM Article By IBM (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    We're posting press releases now?
    • This is the bit that jumped out at me from the "anonymous" submission:

      . . .we do get to share Research and some other resources . . .

      A story about corporate blogging just two stories ago; and now a practical demonstration of astroturfing a public forum.

      Happy New Year, same as the old.

      KFG
      • by Boogaroo ( 604901 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @04:10PM (#14375381) Homepage
        This article is FROM IBM about IBM. The article is what is quoted and of course they're talking about themselves, so "WE" is a perfectly acceptable term to use in their own article.

        Now, it may not seem newsworthy to some to put a navel gazing press release up on the front page, but some will find it interesting to get a glimpse of part of IBM's internal workings. Take it or leave it, the article is not some kind of Google ranking ploy.
  • Sounds like the Power PC group tryin gto make themselves feel better about losing their biggest customer, Apple.
    • Is Apple going to completely dump power? Or will it continue to build for both Power and the new Intel architecture?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What was really great was the article posted on the IBM intranet when Apple made that announcement; you could tell they were substantially trying to downplay the effect, saying stuff like 'Apple's PowerPC purchases made up point-so-and-so percent of IBM's revenue', and adding that IBM chips would be used in all three next-gen consoles.
    • by taskforce ( 866056 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @04:01PM (#14375350) Homepage
      I don't have statistics to back it up, but I can prettymuch guarantee that with the release of the Xbox360 and PS3 both using POWER based chips, Apple aren't IBM's biggest customer.
      • Yeah but consoles are a one generation only kind of business. No one can predict what CPUs will be used in the next generation of consoles.
      • Well, consider that only 400k or so XBoxes have shipped and 0 PS3s have shipped, and Apple shipped 600k iMacs and PowerMacs in Q4 2005 (both of which use Power based G5s), Apple is STILL IBM's biggest customer.

        Now Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo may have potentially larger markets, but right now Apple is still shipping more G5s than Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo combined, that and each G5 is higher margin than a Cell based CPU.

        • Well, consider that only 400k or so XBoxes have shipped and 0 PS3s have shipped, and Apple shipped 600k iMacs and PowerMacs in Q4 2005 (both of which use Power based G5s), Apple is STILL IBM's biggest customer.

          Consider the masive number of systems MS will be shiping in 1Q05 -- surely the CPUs for those systems are long since bought and paid for.
        • by FatherOfONe ( 515801 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @05:46PM (#14375698)
          "Well, consider that only 400k or so XBoxes have shipped and 0 PS3s have shipped, and Apple shipped 600k iMacs and PowerMacs in Q4 2005 (both of which use Power based G5s), Apple is STILL IBM's biggest customer.

          Now Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo may have potentially larger markets, but right now Apple is still shipping more G5s than Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo combined, that and each G5 is higher margin than a Cell based CPU."

          Ok, I don't know where you get 400k. I hope that you are correct, but from what I here there will be around 3 million 360's sold by July of this year if they hold their current pace. Now as far as PS3's go, it would be a fair estimate to say that they will be close to their 90 million PS2's sold in 5 years. So lets just say they average 10 million a year for the next 5 years of PS3's. Now you also didn't mention all the hub manufacturers out there like Cisco. They also use power chips. When you start to add it up, the loss of Apple for the gain of Microsoft and Sony was huge win for IBM.

          So in short Apple switching to Intel is a small loss for power, BUT there are some serious advantages now for Power as well. Microsoft and Sony will not require a new fab to be built for ~5 years! Cisco cares about the performance of the Power chip, but they care more about the power consumption. Intel on the other hand needs to focus on mobile chips, desktop chips and server chips. They will need to build their 65nm fabs as fast as possible then spend billions on the next version. Granted Intel spends around 10Billion a year in R&D so they can handle it as long as Wintel desktops keep selling like they do.

          Now the real quesiton is why did Apple switch? This is off topic, but it doesn't make sense that they switched to a 32bit chip FROM a 64bit chip. Now if they would have switched to x86-64, that would have made better sense. I do feel for all those poor saps who are going to buy PPC or X86 Mac in the next year or so. I feel for them because I went through the 68k to PPC migraiton and bought all the load of crap that Apple fed back then. It is the same load of crap they are trying to spin today.... fat binaries.... blah blah blah. The truth is that if you go with a new X86 machine a bunch of your old stuff will not work and you will be praying that someone will code a new version that works as well as your old one did. Now after this painfull migration is over in a couple of years and if Apple moves to X86-64, then they will probably be better off. They just better pray (not that many in Apple belive in God), that sales of their Ipod don't faulter.

          Apple has some other issues that they need to address. One is their view of open source. They use it a TON in their OS yet their sales guys go around and bash it whenever they get a chance. The next is their view on technologies such as Java. Again their sales guys go around and bash it, yet all their Java apps will not need to be ported to this new architecture. One sales guy just recently said to me that he would NEVER load any JVM on his system because he hates slow Java applications. I then informed him that it was loaded by default. He smiled and told me he knew that and he was "just kidding", but I have to wonder how many poor saps he talks to that don't know that and then repeat the same crap he just said. Lastly, and perhaps the biggest issue is why on earth would our development shop write software for X86 Macintosh? Lets look at the marketshare as it is and as it will be for the next few years. What percentage of all new desktops do you believe will be running X86 OSX? .05%? Heck some vendors just NOW started to fully support OSX! RedHat Linux Desktop and SuSE Linux on the destkop will have more clients that OSX on X86. Perhaps Ubuntu will even have more desktops! I wish Apple well, but it will be far far easier on them to reign in their sales guys and send out a message to ANYONE to help support OSX on X86, be that open source apps and or Java applications.

          I
          • > Intel on the other hand needs to focus on mobile chips, desktop chips and server chips.

            And? I fail to see your point, there is not much difference with IBM which sells servers chips too and embedded chips which cover a wide range of usage.

            For the off-topic part about Apple:
            1) I don't understand why Apple made the switch too.
            2) you say it like not beleiving in God is a problem for me it is an intelligence sign.
            3) Free software such as Linux is a competitor so why wouldn't they bash it if they get a chan
            • "Intel on the other hand needs to focus on mobile chips, desktop chips and server chips."

              What I mean by this is that Intel has to additionally focus on desktop performance against AMD. IBM does not need to worry about this market. This market has razor thin margins that only can be maintained by enormous sales. Quite a few people believe that this market is going away, or at best has leveled off and will not grow significantly.

              "you say it like not beleiving in God is a problem for me it is an intelligenc
              • So why should Adobe port yet again? I guess the question should be "why would Adobe port any apps in the next 3 years?"

                I have 3 PowerPC Macs. I know the x86 transition is coming, so I've put a total freeze on buying any software that isn't available as an x86 fat binary.

                If Adobe want me to buy a Photoshop upgrade, they'll get Photoshop running on x86. Because if they don't, I won't buy the upgrade, even if I don't have an x86 Mac yet. Because I know that sooner or later, I will have, and I want all my s

            • 4) having Apple on x86 CPUs can only help vendors deciding to port their software on MacOS X, it lowers the bar not increase it.

              I disagree. If Windows will boot on a Mac like so many think it will, and if Wine for OSX really takes off amonst Mac users, a lot of companies aren't going to bother with an OSX-86 version of their software. Especially with OSX-86 having a tiny marketshare for its first couple of years. They'll just tell the Mac users to boot into Windows or run it under emulation. It could ve
          • Why did they make the switch? Easy one. Laptops. Powerbooks/iBooks make for more than half of the Mac revenue of Apple and there's currently no PPC chip available that can stand up to the Pentium M. Nor does anyone have one on his PPC roadmap.

            Or do you think the Apple folks *like* to be hopelessly behind when it comes to portable computing power?

            (And, yes, I too hate the fact that they switch. Now I'll be in the same boat with the Gigahertz bean counters ...)
          • Now the real quesiton is why did Apple switch? This is off topic, but it doesn't make sense that they switched to a 32bit chip FROM a 64bit chip.

            There's a reason that doesn't make sense: it probably isn't happening. Yes, Intel does make 32-bit chips, but most (all?) of its recent chips have 64-bit extensions. It's entirely possible, and I would say also quite likely, that Apple will restrict itself to the subset of Intel chips that have 64-bit capabilities. It's the only sane thing to do, and as f

          • This is off topic, but it doesn't make sense that they switched to a 32bit chip FROM a 64bit chip

            64-bit is currently a non-factor for the Mac market, and will be until OSX 10.5 comes out. Right now the OS is still primarily 32-bit only (Only Unix Deamons can run 64-bit), and every commercial application except one is 32-bit.

            The thing that didn't make sense was hyping "64-bit" support on the G5 chips without the software to back it up. They probably regret that now, because even though the userbase is runnin
          • I get my numbers from Apple here: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/oct/11result s .html [apple.com]
            Over 1 million Macs in the last quarter, 600k of them IBM supplied. Which means in a healthy year (it it looks to be shaping into one), Apple will ship over 2 million G5 based Macs in the next year, making them nearly as large a customer as Microsoft, and when you factor in that the G5 is probably a higher margin part for IBM than the Xenon (though no guarantees), it would seem to place Apple in the same ballpark as Mi
          • Apple has some other issues that they need to address. One is their view of open source. They use it a TON in their OS yet their sales guys go around and bash it whenever they get a chance. The next is their view on technologies such as Java. Again their sales guys go around and bash it, yet all their Java apps will not need to be ported to this new architecture. One sales guy just recently said to me that he would NEVER load any JVM on his system because he hates slow Java applications. I then informed him

      • The revolution from Nintendo will also have an IBM powerpc inside according to fairly solid rumors. So for the next console war IBM is pretty much the sure winner.
      • Apple makes only 3% share of PowerPC sales for IBM. (http://www.woolsock.ca/geeklove/2005/06/apple_an d _ibm_w.html [woolsock.ca] ) Yes, that small customer. Will be further joke when PS3 ships.

        Xbox 360 and PS3 customers will see some amazing games running on native HDTV output. Everyone looks a bit deeper will see it runs on PowerPC architecture.

        Most important of all, I am writing this as an Apple customer here, there are no PCs here. Steve Jobs made me so mad saying lies about Power architecture so I write like a Dell g
    • IBM has thrown off the shackles of Apple's tyranny! The Power architecture is free! Now IBM has the kind of opportunity afforded Motorola when the 68K architecture was discontinued. I envision a bold future where the Power architecture rises to Itanium-like achievement, marring the shiny chrome bumper of the x86-64 hegemony.
    • by ravyne ( 858869 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @08:08PM (#14376235)
      Apple was never IBMs biggest customer, PPC is everywhere, cars, routers, smart devices of all types, granted that Freescale has the majority of these markets, but IBM has more than enough share to outweight Apple. I'll grant that Apple was IBMs highest-profile customer, but I've seen numbers that place revenue generated by Apple at fewer than 1% of IBMs business. Not only that, but they're going to be manufacturing CPUs for all of the next generation game consoles. The Xbox 360 has already sold more units than Apple would have over the ~4 years or more (keep in mind that the only IBM processor in the Macs is the G5, The G4s are still provided by freescale.) How many PS2s, Xboxes, and Gamecubes have been sold worldwide? 150+ million combined, and that number is growing with each new generation (plus we're not even at the end of this generation's sales!) So IBM is looking at basically guaranteed sales of ~200 million PPC-based parts over the next 5-6 years. Apple doesn't even drive PPC development, its driven on both ends by the embedded and big-iron/server markets.

      IBM won't be hurting by loosing Apple, neither will PPC. I am a bit sad to loose the only "mainstream" consumer-level PPC hardware, but there are some smaller PPC manufacturers such as Genesi to provide for the hardcore PPC fan market.
  • I hope they're being sarcastic :) Last year they lost their biggest customer Apple, so it takes a fair bit of marketing spin to make it the best ever year! Whenever the G6 comes out, with low power consumption (if it does of course), that'll be a great year for the Power architecture.
    • by damiam ( 409504 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @03:58PM (#14375337)
      Apple was/is a relatively minor customer. The business from next-gen consoles (all of which use POWER chips) is/will be at least an order of magnitude larger than Apple.
      • Eventually, yes. Now, no.

        Apple shipped over 600k G5 desktops last quarter; Microsoft shipped only 400k XBox 360s this Christmas. Apple probably also shipped another 600k G5 desktops in the same period Microsoft shipped their consoles.

        So right now Apple ships more high margin units than Microsoft does. Maybe by next march that will shift when Sony unleashes the PS3, but if it's only Microsoft vs Apple, Apple is still the bigger customer!
        • Apple shipped over 600k G5 desktops last quarter; Microsoft shipped only 400k XBox 360s this Christmas. Apple probably also shipped another 600k G5 desktops in the same period Microsoft shipped their consoles.

          There's another issue. Desktop systems use a whole range of chips, including last year's model and the latest and greatest. Next year MS will be using the same chip they did this year.
        • nintendo is using ppc chips now though. gamecube is the cheapest console, and has a large library of games, nintendo shipped 10 million+ gamecubes since they were launched, that's not more g4's and g5-s than apple has ordered over the same time frame, but it's not far off from what apple did either. from one console maker. Who is at number 3. launch sales suck because the price is so high who wants to pay $450 for a console with 3 buggy games? people who absolutely have to have the newest latest or just
    • by 1000StonedMonkeys ( 593519 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @03:58PM (#14375338)
      Well, in terms of volume the XBox 360, PS3, and Revolution are going to get the Power architecture in a heck of a lot more homes than Apple ever could have.
      • Yes, but volume and margin aren't the same. That's like being excited at being the CPU supplier for iPods; 6m a quarter!

        Of course it's nothing to laugh at, but it's a totally different market than the desktop CPU.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          The CPU supplier for iPods does over 400m a quarter. http://www.arm.com/ir/financialnews/10757.html [arm.com]
        • What do you or I know about margin? Apple's desktop CPUs require the latest tech and foundry improvements as well as continual R&D. The margin on 'old tech' embedded chips may well be much higher margin than 970.
          • Sure but without spending on the latest tech, you'll get behind Intel and that's something IBM cannot afford..
            The R&D for fabs must still be done for IBM's own POWER and joint venture with AMD but there is a client less to recoup the cost.
            I always find it funny that IBM's say that they don't care about Apple because it was a low volume client, I bet that they don't sell that many high-end POWER CPU too, compared to the number of PPC micro-controllers sold, yet investements for the high-end tech is impor
        • Do you honestly think that IBM charges MS, Sony, or Nintendo that much less per CPU than they do Apple? If they do I can only see it because of volume sales.

          Just because a console is (arguably) sold at a loss doesn't mean the individual component manufacturers are selling the parts for a loss. Usually quite the opposite.
          • Yes I do, actually.

            If Microsoft sells a $600 console for $400, and that $600 console is compared to a $1300 computer, it would make sense that the components chosen for that console are cheaper than that for the computer, right? Especially if Apple's historic 20%-ish margin applies, so that the $1300 computer really costs Apple $1000, then taking out the $200 or so for the LCD to make the systems comparable, Apple's parts must cost Apple more than Microsoft's parts cost Microsoft.

            This is even bigger when yo
        • Hmm I dont know about that. Both the xbox and PS3 have CPUs more powerful than the average desktops. Both are multicore 64-bit. Both are over 3GHz. Now thats alot quite frankly.

          Sure Power is used elsewhere, but we're not talking about those since theyre like change. Recently consoles have exceeded the average desktop in cpu power, and since the CPUs for both consoles are 'specialized' or highly customized, I imagine the margins are higher than if they were run of the mill G5. For Apple machines the chips we
      • I would expect that Apple probably pays more per chip than the console makers.

        Still, of the three consoles you mentioned, only one is out in 2005, at a trickle rate, not much of a win for Power or PPC this year.

        Apple isn't that far behind. Apple sold something like 5 million Macs in 2005.
      • The consoles will have some catchup to do - in 2005 Apple sold about 4.5 million [ipodnn.com] macintosh computers.

        That's just 2005, in 2004 it was something like 3-4 million - and they've been selling PPC computers for a lot longer than two years.

        Between the PS3 and the 360 there probably will be ten million chips going out next year, I'm just saying Apples contribution is not as insignificant as you make it sound. And even though Macs are moving to Intel next year they'll still be selling Quad G5's for some time.
    • There is a reason Motorola and IBM both are not so interested in Apple's business and it is that the embedded business DWARFS the "Personal Computing" business. My company uses more Motorola microcontrollers than Apple... so does every car company and just is to name a few.

      A pity really... I'd love to see a dual MPC8641D (dual core G4) in the retail marketplace and more of the PPC970MP as well. They are both great processors that few have used to their full potential.

    • Printers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Flying pig ( 925874 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @04:17PM (#14375415)
      A lot of printers use Power architecture (there's one near me, with a 600MHz processor, right now, and the speed with which it renders a full color A4 PDF is quite impressive.) Power is very good wherever there isn't a load of dead weight to keep supporting, which is why it seems to do so well in the embedded or non-"PC" market. As for Apple's decision - well, I fortunately don't have any shares in Apple. I'm not convinced that they will be able to make the world's best X86 portables, and that is the task they seem to have set themselves. I have an attic full of old Macs, and I now have no reason at all to acquire another one.
      • I believe the largest market for PowerPC is automotive -- there's quite a few cars that ship with three or four PPC CPUs in them.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 )
      Marketrons are never sarcastic or ironic. They were simply ignoring the Apple debacle. Which is why this headline should have "Good Year" in quotes.
    • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @05:46PM (#14375699) Homepage

      Last year they lost their biggest customer Apple

      Umm, no, Apple was never anywhere near their biggest customer. Apple was only notable for building PCs with power chips, but the vast majority of power chips never went into PCs. Apple was a rather small customer, and one that was constantly demanding special treatment.

  • 800lb. gorillas building processors? I thought, the chimpanses were the researchers?
  • by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) * on Sunday January 01, 2006 @04:01PM (#14375351) Homepage Journal
    the only interesting thing about the Power architecture is that it runs PowerLinux [powerlinux.com]?
  • While IBM did lose Apple, they're also making PowerPC chips for the Xbox360, Cell for the PS3, and another chip for Revolution. That is one hell of a good position to be in.
    • It's a strategic position, but it's trading known present income/market for future unknown income/market.

      It's quite possible that the XBox 360 and the Revolution totally tank, which isn't good for IBM. It's not unlikely, given past performance, that only one of the three consoles really takes off; then couple that with the low margin, high volume characteristics that describe the console market, vs the low volume but high margin characteristics that describe the Apple market.
      • It's quite possible that the XBox 360 and the Revolution totally tank
        indeed but it seems to me power owns the next generation console market whoever wins.

        • Of course, but at current price points it seems that IBM should get 2 to 3 times more revenue from Apple, comparing the cost of a PowerMac or iMac to an XBox or Revolution, so that even if Microsoft and Nintendo combined move twice as many units as Apple, they still aren't as profitable; of course Sony is going to skew the market heavily, as the current reigning champion, but if I am not mistaken they are taking to fabbing the Cell processor themselves, as well, robbing IBM of the revenue they will be getti
          • IBM knows they can produce the same chip for the XBox360 today, as they will next year.

            There is no immediate push for the chip to be faster, smaller, lower power consumption, etc.

            Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be incremental improvements in the processors used over the lifetime of the XBox 360 production schedule. But it won't be an absolute necessity.

            It should be far easier for IBM to plan the production of the chips to coincide with demand for the XBox360.
    • of those, only the XBOX360 was 2005. it seems like what you're saying is that 2006 is a good year for Power, whereas the article is saying that 2005 was.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "small and nimble" was management speak for "underachieving".
  • ...on the same path as Alpha, PA-Risc and a few other architectures nobody still remembers :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The reality of chip design and manufacturing is far too complex for this rating system to mean anything useful. IBM has cross licensing pacts with just about everybody these days, viz. AMD, VIA, Intel, Sony, et al..
  • IBM 2-0 for 2005 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @05:24PM (#14375621)
    IBM loses whiny Apple who is well known for beating up their chip suppliers every way from Sunday, while gaining XBox 360 and PS3, which will not only ship far more units than Apple over the next five years, but have already paid for the next generation of Power architecture.

    Apple, in the meantime gets Intel, where they're not even close to being the big I's largest customer, and have only their prestige to trade for favors (compared to Dell, whose Intel loyalty is beyond understanding these days).

    • Re:IBM 2-0 for 2005 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by femtoguy ( 751223 )
      I think you underestimate the value of Apple for Intel. Intel spent billions of dollars developing the Itanium family of processors, which have been a complete failure in the market. They have also spent more millions developing MMX/SSE/SSE2/SSE3 and so on, and these have been barely used. Intel keeps developing new chip technologies in order to distance themselves from AMD and VIA, but Microsoft refuses to put them into use in their operating systems. Why not? Microsoft may be a software company, but
      • Microsoft...to fully integrate MMX/SSE into their operating system because it would have been too much work.

        Let's see. It would have been work. And it would have broken compatibility with every older computer in user's hands each time Microsoft did this. End of operating systems upgrades for all those users. I'll bet Microsoft considers this a problem, even if you don't. And keeping track of all the different Windows versions for each new Intel update wouldn't be easy either.

        Besides, just how usefu

    • Now the Mac zealots converted to Intel fanatics in 1 day (after announcement) will bite you very bad. :)

      Well, I am a G5 1600 user converting to dual G5 2700 soon myself.

      BTW, to check PowerPC stuff , check http://www.power.org/ [power.org] , better news there. Better than this PR thing. From Power committee. (official)

      (posting with karma bonus for obvious reasons)
  • Small? (Score:5, Funny)

    by 6Yankee ( 597075 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @06:04PM (#14375763)

    in the microelectronics space, it is actually very small

    I thought everything in the microelectronics space was very small...

  • by hutchike ( 837402 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @09:45PM (#14376519) Homepage Journal
    How come IBM gets free Slashdot publicity? And where exactly is the news in this article? Surely the IBM/Sony/Toshiba Cell chip more newsworthy than the Power architecture?

    Personally I thought it was a particularly good year for Sun's Sparc processors - see this Forrester research article [forrester.com] for example. Here are some recent Sun SPECjbb performance benchmarks [sun.com] against IBM's Power P5.

    But since Sun isn't a leading Linux advocate, I don't expect them to get Slashdot front page coverage like IBM seems to...

  • by bergeron76 ( 176351 ) on Sunday January 01, 2006 @10:11PM (#14376579)
    Man, I remember back when it was just a 500lb Gorilla!

    Times certainly have changed.

  • Rather, they license it. I'm certain that if you factor in revenue from semiconductor licensing, IBM is up near the top. This began in earnest about when they designed and licensed many of the 1mbit DRAM a jillion years ago (ok late-80s). They figured there was no money in the dog-eat-dog world of manufacturing, so they just design stuff, license the hell out of it, then collect royalties. Not a bad idea.

"The identical is equal to itself, since it is different." -- Franco Spisani

Working...