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[In] Why AMD Failed, Another Ex-Employee Confession - Page 5

post #41 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by microfister View Post
from what i can see, the cpu sales are just fine, we as the enthusiast is a very small percentage of the conusmer population. most consumers could care less as to wether or not their cpu is a bottleneck for their GPUs, and even fewer know what we're talking about when we say "GPUs". i agree that their GPUs are price/performance kings right now, and that they also tend to scale much better than nvidia, but really they dont bring anything extra to the table, eyefinity(one GPU) vs nvidia surround(two GPUs) which you have the option of physx. in the end BD fails to outperform the 2500k/2600k in price/performance, but to the average consumer it means nothing. 8 cores @ 3.6ghz for $280 vs 4 cores @ 3.4ghz for $315 isnt a contest on paper. unfortunately AMD has dumbed down their setup to allow a 15% performance increase over the next few years to be reasonable, and we (on the enthusiast side of things) lose, bottom line.

i dont plan on being a fanboy of intel or AMD, my loyalty lies with the king of performance at the time of purchase. AMD's current plan is to sell "the world record holder" and "first 8 core" CPU until "our" percentage of sales increase. Which means there is no winning for us. we will continue to pay the price/performance king regardless, and thats what really sucks here. if you want the best, you have to turn to intel. if you want an eight core CPU, go to AMD. four cores with eight threads is still four cores, and AMD is the only one offering eight cores, so they win in the long run. regardless of the price/performance king, amd is currently stealing sales from intel, we can only hope that the prices become as competative as the marketing.

i dont see intels cpus out of stock anywhere, but then again, i dont see them lowering their prices... at least not until their Ivy Bridge CPUs are released.




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post #42 of 177
A couple of notes.

Firstly, I doubt the man was an above-par engineer (edit: I'm not saying he is terrible, just that he is not god's answer to microchip engineering). His current profession is intellectual property lawyer (you know, they type of person that makes money from the patent and copyright laws/lawsuits that are so bad for the general public). Ad hominem aside, I seriously wonder if someone can be both a good lawyer AND a good engineer (note: I'm an EE student looking at the possibility of going into medicine. I realise that I can't be a great EE and a great doctor. the professions are just too different with each being extremely complex and the study of each being the work of many lifetimes).

The next mention is that he quit in 2006-2007. AMD has had major changes since then (also drafts of bulldozer were probably undergoing major revisions at that point).

Next up is computer design. The man is exaggerating when he claims that previous designs were designed exclusively by hand (edit: think about how much time would it take to place even 250 million transistors by hand WITHOUT trying to be efficient. It would take orders of magnitude longer to try making an efficient design. A good analogy is programming. Writing a large program in assembly is inefficient. Instead the program is coded in a higher level language such as C++. Only the mission-critical parts (such as those little loops which execute billions of times) are designed by hand assembly. The rest of the circuit design (a program is a method to rearrange the transistors in an integrated circuit) that is mostly computer designed with humans giving more general directions for most of the program and giving very specific instructions when needed.) and would also be exaggerating when he claims that current designs are made exclusively by computer. Let's assume that his 20% deficiencies and 20% larger size claims are true. It is still faster to have the computer crunch an initial design and then tweak the design for efficiency than to have an engineer spend months making a design that must still be tweaked (probably to a similar extent) to achieve maximum efficiency.

The only chips that could have used this alleged computer only design would be still undesigned chips. He claims that AMD has just been iterating the same architecture since A64. If this were true, the only computer designs that could have possibly been made would be scrapped designs (aside from 45nm bulldozer, all other scrapped designs were K8 or K10), Zacate, and Bulldozer. Bulldozer has design problems. Nothing more to say except that these issues are probably fixable given a revision and new fab. If Zacate is an example of computer design, sign me up for more. The chip is bulk (ie cheap to make) and has 146 fewer pins than atom making motherboards cheaper, smaller (fewer circuits), and faster to make while design of the same mother boards is faster and less error (less to account for). While being cheaper and easier to design for, the power consumption is still better than the latest atom due to the atom's need for a dedicated GPU (the atom IGP sucks). All this aside, saying that the changes from K8 to K10 were "minor revisions" is like saying that the changes from core to Sandybridge were "minor revisions." True, the revisions were incremental, but the changes were major (true quad-core, DDR2, DDR3, 20-30% IPC increase, power management, etc).

I believe that the only accurate statement made by this former lawyer/engineer employee is that the old design team (like old employees everywhere) fought to keep the system "as it has always been" and that the team either disliked or feared changes to "the way we do things."
Edited by hajile - 10/18/11 at 6:42am
post #43 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajile View Post
A couple of notes.

Firstly, I doubt the man was an above-par engineer (edit: I'm not saying he is terrible, just that he is not god's answer to microchip engineering). His current profession is intellectual property lawyer (you know, they type of person that makes money from the patent and copyright laws/lawsuits that are so bad for the general public). Ad hominem aside, I seriously wonder if someone can be both a good lawyer AND a good engineer (note: I'm an EE student looking at the possibility of going into medicine. I realise that I can't be a great EE and a great doctor. the professions are just too different with each being extremely complex and the study of each being the work of many lifetimes).

<snip>
My wife has been an attorney in the IP field for more than a decade. I can guarantee you, a good patent attorney who works in engineered IP is also a good engineer. You cannot be the one without the other. You cannot sit the patent bar exam without that engineering degree and no IP firm in the world is going to hire an associate patent attorney specializing in engineering patents who hasn't proved their chops in the real world as an engineer. There are tons of mediocre patent attorneys out there who work of counsel etc., but the very good patent attorneys are also very good engineers.
post #44 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlells01 View Post


http://jonpeddie.com/press-releases/...-last-quarter/

This Quarter Market Share:

AMD - 41%
Nvidia - 59%
He was obviously talking on behalf of high end cards... we already know that nVidia gets most of the cheapo OEM market.
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post #45 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyxox View Post
My wife has been an attorney in the IP field for more than a decade. I can guarantee you, a good patent attorney who works in engineered IP is also a good engineer. You cannot be the one without the other. You cannot sit the patent bar exam without that engineering degree and no IP firm in the world is going to hire an associate patent attorney specializing in engineering patents who hasn't proved their chops in the real world as an engineer. There are tons of mediocre patent attorneys out there who work of counsel etc., but the very good patent attorneys are also very good engineers.
I would accept the need for knowledge of EE to become a good attorney in that area; however, all the years in law school and all the time necessarily spent in independent study (law school isn't great in covering specific areas of law in great detail) are years that cannot be spent in perfecting engineering ability. While the 80%/20% rule applies here (20% of the time to learn 80% of a topic), it is that last 20% of learning (and 80% of time) that separates the average (what I said I believed him to be) from the excellent.
post #46 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by CryWin View Post
He was obviously talking on behalf of high end cards... we already know that nVidia gets most of the cheapo OEM market.
Yeah, hardly anybody has a Fermi...
post #47 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkahuna360 View Post
It will dominate the need for bigger chargers.
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post #48 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajile View Post
I would accept the need for knowledge of EE to become a good attorney in that area; however, all the years in law school and all the time necessarily spent in independent study (law school isn't great in covering specific areas of law in great detail) are years that cannot be spent in perfecting engineering ability. While the 80%/20% rule applies here (20% of the time to learn 80% of a topic), it is that last 20% of learning (and 80% of time) that separates the average (what I said I believed him to be) from the excellent.
In IP law, the average patent attorney will never become a partner in a firm. They generally don't last more than a year as an associate and spend the rest of their careers working of counsel or as a temp attorney, or they downgrade to copyright and trademark work. Only the truly excellent will remain more than a year as an associate and go on to become partners specializing in patents.
post #49 of 177
Maybe AMD should just buy a division of VIA and have a small team tweak Bulldozer's power consumption by the time Piledriver rolls around.

However it seems like upper management was looking at Bulldozer like a server chip that could double as a flagship for their consumer market. If we remember the i7 920/x58 wasn't exactly power saving and it was a server platform that found its way into the enthusiast market. Management probably thought Bulldozer would still sell to a certain demographic even if it wasn't what everyone wanted and went ahead and released it. The backlash has more to do with the power consumption than performance in my opinion. Server admins will be hesistant but AMD will give them kickbacks as well as selling them on a chip that has alot of potential for longterm viability in a market where people keep a server running for 5 years on end. By the time the instruction sets Interlagos has can be fully used, then Bulldozer with be worth its initial investment.

Basically in my rant I feel Bulldozer is a great chip for the server market at lower clocked speed. It has features that are ahead of their time and not viable at this point in the game, similiar to A64.

However,AMD still has the APU's and ATI so they still have some good products out on the market. People have overeacted way too much and should have just bought a 2500k back in Feb and been done with it.
Edited by dlee7283 - 10/18/11 at 7:13am
    
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post #50 of 177
For some reason AMD still has a a lot of followers even though their CPUs seem to underperform when compared to Intel.

They do make good GPUs though.
    
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