Thursday, December 22, 2005

Paul and Craig conversation

Paul: Craig, are you all right? I heard a smashing sound in your office..what is wrong with that chair?

Craig: I am fine. This mexican, he dodged my bullet.

Paul: I told you. Dumping flash is not a long term solution. Now, he IPOed the sucker. Let's move on.

Craig: No. We should punish him more. He still got 40% of it, worth a billion dollars of stock. If we keep doing it, NOR flash will keep falling, and his 40% will worth 0.

Paul: But, we are having a chipset shortage. Remember, chipsets are made in the same 200 mm FABs.

Craig: so?

Paul: We are losing a lot of money on NOR, and we can't sell a CPU without a chipset. It's like shooting ourselves twice in the foot.

Craig: We still got 13 billion cash, enough to crush him 10 times.

Paul: Craig, you may not know, our cash is running out, we had to issue 1.4 billion convertible debt...

Craig: How come?

Paul: We had this 25 billion stock buy back program, you told me to hold the price at all costs. But at 50 million shares volume, that's 1 billion dollars a day....

Craig: So what? Let's finish him first. Then we can make all the moeny we want.

Paul: It is not that simple these days. His lawyer has called to arrange video depositions of both of us, we will be under oath...

Craig: ... will Mike tell them anything?

Paul: Not sure. We can't count on the dude not telling the story, he only cares about his own money.

Craig: You wouldn't tell what I just said, would you?

Paul: Of course not! consider our conversation privileged...

Craig: OK. Forget about NOR, let him have his 40% stock. What's the situation and what are our options?

Paul: We got serious problems on all fronts.

Craig: Really? Start from the smallest one...

Paul: This OLPC project is very dangerous. He is giving every child of the world a laptop.

Craig: I called it a $100 gadget.

Paul: Yeah, I know. But imagine every child of the world growing up with his chip. It's like kids growing up with McDonalds.

Craig: That's attachment, I never thought that mexican is good at this...

Paul: Excatly. It seems he had been planning all these stuff against us for years while we were sleeping. We underestimated him..

Craig: Definitely...arguably.. he is smart, allright? Why can't we put out something similar to destroy him?

Paul: His chip is exteremely low cost. It integrated graphics card, memory controller, USB and other stuff all onto the CPU itself. If using our chip, the PC would need several other chips, and there is no way for us to push the price down to $100. Also, his chip is low power.

Craig: Our centrino is also low power.

Paul: Ours is 25 watts. His is 0.9 watt and does not need a heatsink.

Craig: what about servers?

Paul: He is going to sell an Opteron server for every class room that has 50 OLPC laptops...

Craig: gadgets!

Paul: opteron for every 50 OLPC gadgets.

Craig: we should dump the hell of Xeons and kill the Opterons.

Paul: But we can't make Xeons cheaper than Pentium IVs, or people will just buy Xeons for desktop. Desktop is still 60% of our business.

Craig: I see, let's hike prices on mobiles to make up the loss in servers.

Paul: But he also got this Turion notebook chip, if we hike mobile price, he will eat our notebook share...

Craig: what are the other options?

Paul: we have none ....


Anonymous hammerfall_prophet said...

Next day:

Paul: You wanted to see me?

Craig: Yes; I slept badly last night; had terrible dreams...
Paul, I've come to realize we're in a serious situation.
We've certainly underestimated this Mexican all along, and I've
underestimated the power of our company.
One of my bad dreams... was I was playing a chess game against
an invisible angel. I had the advantage, and whenever he took
one of my pieces, I summoned magical powers that made two pieces
appear on the board. I was laughing and advancing my 16 pawns.
He managed to jump over them with both knights; then sacrificed
a pawn to get his queen across my pawns.
I kept advancing my pawns, then he calls jackmate in 3 moves...
Paul, we cannot let that happen...

Paul: It's just a dream, Craig; don't let it get to you.

Craig: I want to let it get to me. We need to get paranoid now,
as if our survival was at stake. You understand?

Paul: I certainly do. In fact...

Craig: What?

Paul: Nothing... So, do you have a new plan, or wanted me to...

Craig: Neither. That's been our problem all along, Paul; neither
you nor I are qualified to play this game. We will need to let
our smartest propeller heads and techies come up with a plan.
We can't win a chess game with swords and voodo dolls. We need
advice from chess players. In fact, we need to let them play the
game. I'm sure that's Hector's trick.

Paul: I agree. Where do we start?

Craig: Get the smartest engineers we have...

Paul: You don't suppose I ask those stupid managers to send over
their smartest people? How would they know? Besides, we'd only
see their closest confidants and brown-nosers...

Craig: True. Allright; let's get Gordon on speakerphone.

--Moore speaking...

--Craig here, good morn..


--Gordon, I know we've had our differences.. We need your help.

--You OWE me $45 million I've lost on the value of my shares,
since your bloddy tenure, and now you need my help, eh?

--You're the only one we can trust.

--Wish I could say half as much. What do you want?

--The Mexican; he's got us by the... immobilized.

--I told you.

--I know; We should have listened to you; and we cannot change
the past, but we will listen to you now.

--I don't believe you; sorry.

--We did copy AMD64 instruction, as per your suggestion; didn't

--I also suggested you acknowledge it publically, ask them for
documentation and updates, etc.; and you didn't, and as a result
we missed two of the instructions in the set.

--That's... If you say so... Well, we do have an image of being
the industry's leaders...

--Then I can't help you, sorry.

--Gordon; you need to help us; and you know it. You have more
shares at stake than all of us put together.

--But you won't listen to me.

--We will.

--Okay, then license HTT now, and call me in the morning.

--Gordon, please, we've been through... Uh? Paul?

--Paul here. Mr Moore, we've actually contemplated using HTT.


--The problem is that cHTT doesn't come with it.

--Sorry, remind about this cHTT?

--Coherent Hyper Transport. The HTT ports in the Opteron can be
configured as standard or Coherent. The standard protocol is an
open standard, but Coherent HTT isn't. By joining the consortium
we'd get compatibility with their chipsets, but not full socket
compatibility. Our processors wouldn't be able to snoop on each
other's caches, or talk to their chips...
And if we reverse-engineered cHTT, he could sue us. We'd have to
license cHTT and pay him royalties...

--Well, then, pay the goddam royalties.

--I'm not sure that's on the table... Craig?

--Absolutely not! Why? Can't we come up with our own high speed
bus? Sure we can. And we could also force its adoption, pushing
HTT out of the market.

--Yeah, sure Craig, just like we did with Rambus...

--Gordon, that wasn't our fault; these guys have the best lawyers
and the worst engineers...

--That's not exactly the way I see it. Anyhow, you seem to have
a plan, now, and will no longer listen to me, and I'm busy.

--Gordon, wait; what about architecture?

--Well, besides a high speed bus you'll need a memory controller.

--But that's like copying everything the way they do it.

--Which happens to be the right way.

--Okay. How long you think it would take?

--The memory controller... a couple of years. A complete new high
speed bus... about 4 years, I'd say.

--FOUR YEARS?! What do we do in the meantime?

--Your problem. You asked me a question; I answered it.

--Paul, I'm telling you again; we must diversify.

--We have no time to diversify; we've tried your strategy and look
where it's got us: mostly losses. We should concentrate on what we
know best.

--Gordon, what's your opinion on this? Diversify or concentrate?

--I'd say either one, but trying to do both is hopeless. We're not
going to win either way with a half-assed effort.

--Okay, Gordon, what would you do right now, in a nutshell?

--I'd concentrate: Join the HTT consortium, license cHTT, integrate
the memory controller, license SOI, come up with a true 64-bit core
and become equals, socket-compatible with AMD, while giving up on
the proprietary chipset business. Then we might have a chance...
In the short term, I'd cut back production and raise prices. I have
to go now; later.

Craig: What do you think?

Paul: I think Gordon underestimates our ability to devlop a new,
high speed link. The advantages of SOI aren't yet proven, and our
R&D people believe they have promising alternatives to SOI. And if
we give up our proprietary bus, what can we cut off AMD from, going
forward? We'd be locked forever on an equal level competition. On
the other hand, he's right about integrating the memory controller.
Maybe we can just separate memory access from the north bridge.

Craig: I agree. We need to have a high speed bus of our own. Maybe
we can finish it in two years if we throw twice as many people at
the job. Let's try and revive rambus under a new guise, too.
What about in the meantime?

Paul: Been thinking about a souped up Pentium-M, lots of cache, now
that our 90nm yields are starting to improve. Maybe if we can ramp
65nm quickly, we might be able to fit two cores in time.

Craig: Good plan. Let's begin execution.

Paul: I thought we were going to consult our engineers.

Craig: Nah.. We'd waste months discussing...

12:08 PM, June 03, 2006  
Anonymous hammerfall_prophet said...

On the 6th line, I meant...

"overestimated the power of our company."

rather than

"underestimated the power of our company."


12:20 PM, June 03, 2006  

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