Reg beards Cheapzilla in Chipzilla den

It's the war of the words

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Words do not fall into the void – Zohar

We finally tracked AMD staff down at the San Jose and Towers Hilton, the very hotel packed with journalists, analysts, delegates, and Intel staffers, all in town for the Developer Forum held next door at the convention centre.

After Sharky Extreme departed, the staff holding the Cheapzilla redoubt seemed undismayed by words uttered by a very senior Intel exec we bumped into earlier in the day but who we won't name cos we like him a lot.

The words he said went quite a lot like the following. "I read your Cheapzilla story, Mike. Not only is AMD an imitator of our technology, now they're leeching off us as well. They're leeches."

Words which Bob Milton, division marketing manager of workstation products at AMD, dismissed out of hand, suggesting that Intel would do the same thing and it had found two Chipzilla employees once chomping AMD sushi.

Milton had words to say about AMD's projected X86-64 platform and hit out at Intel's Itanium strategy.

He said that the goal with Hammer was performance and that the instruction set doesn't lead you to higher performance.

"The x86 architecture is entirely extensible to 64-bits," he claimed. The route AMD is following did not require the expensive effort Intel was making, nor did it require any need to port applications, he said.

Further, he said, there would be a "less than single digit increase in the size of the chip", meaning that the Hammer products would not have a huge price tag.

He said that from day one, AMD's Hammer would have a host of existing applications it could run and that this approach would prevent conflicts with software running on Intel IA-32 and IA-64 machines.

Intel's position is quite different. It has, in Ron Curry's words and from its point of view, invented the IA-64 platform. One of our colleagues pointed out that AMD would like to be in the position where it could spend gazillions of dosh to foster such a scheme, but didn't have the resources. He also added that while there was no doubt the Athlon is an excellent product, AMD had had a very lucky break because of the supply problems Intel has suffered this year.

In short, the war of the words is over, at least for today. ®


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