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Top scientist and Itanic critic ‘leaves’ NEC

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Who will now dare criticize Intel's Itanium processor? Even some of the most distinguished engineers in the industry might now have second thoughts before speaking freely on the subject.

NEC's chief technologist poked fun at the IA-64 instruction set at an industry conference in July, and has now paid the price with his job.

Leonard Tsai confirmed that he had left NEC two weeks after making the remarks at the Platform Conference in San Jose, and that his departure was related to his comments. He had been Chief Technologist at NEC Systems Inc. since July 1998, and represented the company on several industry initiatives.

Earlier this year a UC Berkeley academic underwent an extraordinary conversion from being an Itanium critic to a born-again supporter. (See: Miracle cures Berkeley man of Itanic wickedness).

NEC is a major Intel customer and Itanium OEM. Tsai had claimed Chipzilla was bullying OEMs into supporting Itanic. An email from Intel's server executive "Iron" Mike Fister drew this response from NEC management, reports InfoWorld:

"Kobayashi wrote back to me and said, 'Oh my gosh, let me make the situation better,'" Fister said.

Tsai left on August 1.

So beware, then, The Fist. ®

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