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Intel Hardware

Why Intel Leads the World In Semiconductor Manufacturing 226

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody-else-seems-to-want-to dept.
MrSeb writes "When Intel launched Ivy Bridge last week, it didn't just release a new CPU — it set a new record. By launching 22nm parts at a time when its competitors (TSMC and GlobalFoundries) are still ramping their own 32/28nm designs, Intel gave notice that it's now running a full process node ahead of the rest of the semiconductor industry. That's an unprecedented gap and a fairly recent development; the company only began pulling away from the rest of the industry in 2006, when it launched 65nm. With the help of Mark Bohr, Senior Intel Fellow and the Director of Process Architecture and Integration, this article explains how Intel has managed to pull so far ahead."
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Why Intel Leads the World In Semiconductor Manufacturing

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  • by MnemonicMan (2596371) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:16AM (#39865835)
    Intel, with their open-source graphics stack, makes for some of the easiest-to-maintain Linux boxes around. I'm typing this right now on Arch with Intel graphics. Sure, they don't have a lot of "gaming punch" but they are darn stable and just work with Linux.

    My desktop right now has Windows and is running a first-generation Core i5 with an AMD Radeon 6870 added in. When that machine get's replaced with another gaming Windows machine in a year or two I'll be pulling the AMD graphics out of it and running on the i5 integrated Intel graphics. It will be super-low-maintenance in Linux. None of this rebuilding fglrx or nVidia modules every time you upgrade the kernel.

    When I go looking for a Linux machine the very first thing I look to check-off is "Intel graphics"? Yup, then it's a buy.
  • Re:How come Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pieroxy (222434) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:30AM (#39865885) Homepage

    Let's see. How come GM doesn't have these tires factories that Firestone and Michelin has? I wonder... GM is making a heck of a lot more money than Firestone though...

  • by Goragoth (544348) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:01AM (#39866001) Homepage

    And you seem to have missed the part where "running hotter than SandyBridge" applies only to overclocking. Yes, IB is a worse overclocker than SB, but under normal conditions IvyBridge is faster and uses less power than SandyBridge. Remember that overclockers are a tiny portion of the market. IvyBridge isn't the amazing revolutionary chip some people were expecting but it is a successful, evolutionary step forward. Just like most processor generations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:22AM (#39866071)

    why the hell did this get marked intersting?

    1. if it was "just" a shrink over 32nm and had the same die size and power consumption, it would be no improvement. instead the die size is quite smaller than 32nm. past shrinks have held the die size only slightly smaller as they either added more cache or other logic in addition to the shirnk. in this turn things are mostly the same resulting in a smaller die. this means more dies per wafer and, eventually, lower cost (noting a move to 450mm wafers within the next 5 years).

    2. ivy bridge does have lower power consumption than sandy bridge. same speed chips doing the same task can have the ivy bridge system using up to 30w less power at peak performance. where it hasn't really improved is in 'idle' conditions. why? ecause most tech to turn of various sections of the cpu were introduced in other process shrinks. as this is gennerally "just" a shrink, the idle power being roughly the same isn't about lack of improvement, but moreover less innovation in existing silicon power saving techniques. i mean the chip already slows it's overall speed down when idling, and will shutdown significant portions of it cache as well.

    3. there has only been a performance improvement for various definitions of "performance". in other iterations intel has tweaked the chip. this is based on feedback from the chips being in the field. of course with sandy bridge running so effectively, there hasn't been much call to 'tweak' the design. still at the same speed, ivy bridge has better "power" performance than sandy bridge.

    4. i don't think you've seen any benchmarks to be honest. graphics has improved significantly, cpu not so much. but it is still an improvement over snady bridge.

    5. the packaging problems have only been encountered when people overclock the chip. that is, people running it out of spec. sure there's 1% of us out there that will push the limits. but for most people, they will never ever see those hotter temperatures. personally i go the opposite direction by undervolting to consumer less power and in turn producing less noise.

  • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:57AM (#39866177) Homepage

    Of course, anyone who actually needs decent graphics wouldn't be using the on-chip graphics anyway, so I question just how useful this really is.

    There's a whole world of people who would quite like decent graphics, but who don't want to spring another hundred bucks or two to get something fancy. There's also the mobile market (laptops, tablets, etc.) where fitting an extra graphics card looks more like a liability than a good thing. Overall, it looks to me like a smart area for Intel to pitch their transistor budget at.

  • by Theophany (2519296) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @07:29AM (#39866263)
    I think you've completely missed the point.

    1. Ivybridge is a die shrink, nothing more nothing less. Everybody who really thought it would be lightyears ahead of Sandybridge in terms of performance was simply deluded. It's a new die size that anybody has yet to perfect, that will come in Haswell.

    2. All this ire is unfairly directed at Intel. On the basis that AMD seems to have no idea what it's doing at the moment, Intel can relax and do as they please. If you want to be pissed at anybody, be pissed at AMD for not being anywhere near competitive and pushing Intel to continuously raise their game.

    Since 1998 I've only ever used AMD CPUs in my builds. When I came to build a new rig in February, I simply couldn't justify buying AMD for my CPU again because they were so far behind and there was zero indication that Bulldozer would rectify that. It's sad watching them busily engage in killing themselves off as a serious desktop CPU manufacturer and leaving Intel to potentially become lazy and overpriced, but that isn't Intel's fault.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:14AM (#39867593)

    Company A produces a better product then Company B.
    Company A has better marketing then Company B.
    Company A prices are nearly the same as Company B.

    Company A for the Win.

    No Conspiracy, No Evil, Their customers want a good product at a fair price, That is what they provide.
    Right before Intel released their CORE processors AMD had a very strong showing. Then Intel released a much better product and they took their #1 spot back and put distance behind their competitor.
    Now AMD will need to make a much better product, Market their Product better, and/or Lower their costs.

  • by macromorgan (2020426) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:45AM (#39868695)
    Athlon 64 > Pentium 4. AMD has made a clearly better product at least once. Currently I'd say a C60 > Atom, but that's a matter of opinion as the Atom has a smaller power draw to make it compelling depending upon your needs.
  • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @01:17PM (#39870141)

    Uh, there's a reason many Linux/BSD distros refer to their x86-64 port as "AMD64" - AMD *invented* the 64-bit x86 extension. And they've always been just slightly ahead of the curve on multi-core - for quite some time, AMD had viable dual-core desktop processors while Intel's were nigh-unusable due to heat and performance.

    And there's a reason many supercomputers are built around massive piles of Opterons - AMD makes a superior massive-number-crunching processor.

    Not to mention that the classic Athlon was flat-out *better* than the Pentium III. Even as early as the K5, AMD had technically-superior designs held back by implementation issues. Just like Bulldozer, come to think of it. It's a very *interesting* design, and I'm not entirely convinced the rather obvious shortcomings are due to faulty design work, rather than faulty production work.

    Oh, and the Fusion "APUs" are great low/middle-end laptop chips. Far, far better integrated graphics with comparable CPU performance and power draw, compared to Intel's offerings. If I were to buy a laptop for standard home usage, I'd grab one of those.

    Then there's the whole graphics thing. Sure, you could argue that's more ATI than AMD, but they're definitely beating Intel in the graphics market, that's for sure.

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