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Comment Re:Rambust (Score 2) 112

It had all been done before, but Rambus added the idea of doing it -- for RAM!

A protocol bus -- for RAM!
Terminated, controlled-impedance transmission lines -- for RAM!
Differential (actually threshold-based pseudo-differential) signaling -- for RAM!
Source synchronous clocking -- for RAM!
Delay-locked loops -- for RAM!
Bidirectional signalling using (current-mode drivers) -- for RAM!

When I worked there I patented the principle of linearity when it is used in time-domain simulations -- for RAM! (One of the less valuable but most crazy ideas.)

All that silliness aside, I don't think Rambus' 2.5% royalty justifies the price premium for RDRAM. However, the fancy wafer-scale packaging, the impossibility of production testing at 800Mbps in the year 2000 and the horrific heat generated by those 28-ohm current-mode drivers was enough to kill the technology.

Comment I call bullshit. (Score 1) 272

Performance reviews in companies are a sham to justify the HR VP's salary. If Bill Gates knew how to motivate productive then I would expect Microsoft's tens of thousands of employees to give OSX and Ubuntu a little stiffer competition. Most of Microsofts productive inovations come from acquiring startups. Startups do know how to motivate, by employing small teams of people who large stakes in the actual success of their project and using natural selection to weed out those who can't or won't succeed.

Comment Re:Yield, not Power (Score 1) 81

Another thing I wanted to mention is that IBM makes it's money on flip-chip packages. Flip-chip is technically superior to wire-bond, but does not allow you to stack which is desirable for mobile devices (regulator on DRAM on CPU is a typical in a baseband package for your phone). What IBM really needs to come up with is a superior, proprietary stackable package so they can start making money on mobile.

Comment Yield, not Power (Score 1) 81

This article is a bit deceptive. IBM is not trying to create a package with 1000 high-end, high-power CPUs in it. Clearly, this would require 1000 times the thermal capacity in the cooling system, not to mention 40kW power supply to drive it and a pair of 40kA copper rails to bring all that current (at 1V) into and out of the package. This is not happening. The issue IBM is looking at is silicon defects. If you make a single MIPS processor per die, then you can get 10,000 of them on a wafer. If that wafer suffers 100 random defects, then you still have 9900 good die for 99% yield. However, if you try to make 64-core processors that are fashionable today then you only have 156 units on your wafer and the same 100 defects leave you with only 56 prime dice, for 36% yield which is shit. IBM's big idea seems to be to manufacture the multi-core processors which can be assembled from a multiplicity of known good die. They aim to build 64-core CPUs, by stacking tiny single-core CPUs, not the 64000-core CPUs that I pictured when reading this article.

Comment Re:You'd think after the beating Sony took ... (Score 1) 247

Ok, Mr. Troll. You seem to have some strong feelings about this. But you're wrong about the PSN outage, or you have a strange definition of "hurt". During Q1'11, Sony lost $389 million. (The previous quarter, they had earned $72 million.) Since the beginning of the year, their stock has lost 40% of it's value. Sony's uber-powerful lawyers started this whole mess because they felt it was in their interest to sue a teenager. If they had prevailed, they stood to gain $100 from his sock drawer, but sadly, they did not. You're also wrong about Sony having more money and tech than me. Since 2008 I have earned more than SNE: -- And I've never been hacked.

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