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Intel's chequered background to Merced emerges

Why should anyone expect it to work, is plaintive plea

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A reader of The Register has given us the background on Intel failures of the past. He was responding to an earlier story today, where a chip architect was wondering how good the IA-64 Merced platform is. The correspondent detailed a story about the past of Intel processors which also did not work too well. He said: "Intel did well with the 8080/8085. They started to get wiped out by the Z80, and got the 8088/8086 out the door just in time. In parallel, they did OK for a while with the 8048 and 8051, but pulled out of that business really early, while other were making good money from 8051 derivatives. "Every other Intel processor has bombed. The i432 disappeared about as thoroughly as the Merced looks like it might. The i860 got people excited, but went nowhere. In microcontrollers they have failed to get anything but some RAID controller and similar low volume design wins. "They got wiped out in DRAM. They only did well in EPROM for a time, by use of bundling deals with their processors. Their chip set business has been built more on tie-ins than engineering merit. It's amazing they have been able to keep cranking out these faster 8086s so consistently, when they never get much else right." It is a chequered history and interesting because of the vast liquidity the Intel Corporation has, and will have. ®

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