Two decades ago, the US high end microprocessor industry was a lively, diverse market where about five various instruction set architectures battled it out across the workstation and server fields. You had choices like DEC’s Alpha – the speed leader; MIPS – the Silicon Graphics heart; SPARC from Sun Microsystems, IBM POWER, HP PA, the nascent X86, and a few custom architectures for MPP massive parallel processing, for instance. The rest of the world pretty much had nothing – British Transputer and German Hyperstone platforms died out due to lack of funding, while ARM was still keeping to the low end embedded arena after the end of the
Just as Intel’s (NASDAQ: INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich opened the regular staff meeting before a dramatically reduced IDF2015 conference, in Shenzhen, China – it is a good time to review how government and enterprises don’t see eye to eye when it comes to strategic business. Remember the Tianhe-2 machine at Guangzhou Supercomputer Center, the current World’s number one according to Top 500 Supercomputer list? Unlike some other China supercomputers with their mixed architectures – Tianhe-2 is a fully Intel based machine, the world’s largest assembly of Intel Xeon CPUs and Xeon Phi accelerators. Even after Intel ‘opened the kimono’ and gave a nearly 70% discount on its processors and accelerators, it
Earlier rumors pointed to an outright takeover of AMD by China’s BLX. While there is a China element to AMD’s future, it’s in something more subtle than an outright takeover.