Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rattner: 2004 AMD64 is Intel's envy, ideal and future

The beauty of the 4 way Opteron board is a reflection of the underlying topology and symmetry of the Direct Connect Architecture -- Sharikou

The sharp eyes at INQ suspected the ideal platform envisioned by Intel CTO Justin Rattner was an AMD64 based system. Looking at Rattner's slide 34 at the Spring 06 IDF, I immediately recognized it as an old Tyan S4880, which is probably out of production, because it was an old design with only 10 DDR1 slots, the newer Tyan S4882-D has 16 DDR1 slots and supports dual core. The Tyan S4880 envied by Rattner was introduced in April 2004.

Intel Senior Fellow, CTO, Justin Rattner on Intel's future
Spring IDF, 2006
( In the background, Tyan S4880, Quad Opteron Board)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, Intel clearly knows who makes an ideal system. It isn't them. So, everything Intel wants its technology to be, AMD's already is.

And what other motherboard could they put on the slide? All their desktop and server systems are definitely not evergy efficient.

11:24 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger netrama said...

I have this feeling that Intel is hugely overstaffed ..(mostly chemical engineers(lol) )and a big layoff is in the cards ..Any comments ?

7:03 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

This mistake by Justin Rattner was so obvious, it proved again my point INTEL's technical leadership is toally lacking.

The board is obviously an Opteron board. Why? Just look at the locations of the memory banks, there are four banks of memory, one next to each of the CPU. That's because the Opteron has integrated memory controller, so on a quad-opteron system, there are 4 memory controllers, one inside each CPU, there is one bank of memory next to one CPU.

On INTEL's FSB design, there is one memory controller in the northbridge, so you see the memory slots are lined up in one place on Intel boards.

Had Justin Rattner understood the AMD64 architecture and the significance of the IMC, he would immediately recognize this as an Opteron board. It can't be Intel.

10:04 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was a INTEL share-holder I would want Heads to roll..
and fast, This is just not aceptable.
School kids make mistakes, Managers of Multibillion dollar companies are paid huge money
to be idiots, I dont think so!. Roll roll roll..

1:52 AM, March 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some Heads will be rolled. If I was a INTEL share-holder, I want Heads to roll starting from the CEO...

Before that, INTEL is a marketing company ONLY.

4:37 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

I sent this email to Dr. Rattner and some INTEL and AMD folks:

"If you look at the motherboard on the Dr. Rattner's IDF slide #34, there are four banks of memory, one
next to each of the CPU. This is clear sign of the presence of Integreated Memory Controller (IMC). In AMD64 architecture, each CPU has an IMC inside, and controls its own banks of memory. So on a quad-CPU board, there are four memory controllers, each has an associated bank of memory. ccHT makes these 4 banks of memory into one memory space.

In INTEL systems, there is one external memory controller on the shared bus, so you would see all memory slots lined up in oneplace, next to the northbridge.

From topological point of view, Intel's design looks ugly, while AMD's design is elegant and balanced. This is even reflected in the appearance of the board
layout -- the beauty of the AMD board was probably the reason why Dr. Rattner chose an AMD motherboard for his IDF slide."

Dr. Rattner emailed back and told me that:
"A graphics artist chose the board
picture and no one noticed that it was an AMD motherboard."

He also emphasized that he was talking about energy efficiency at that point, the issue is true "whether it is an Intel- or and AMD-based design".

7:57 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

It's funny. Intel actually went back to change Dr. Rattner's slides on Intel web site. It's now changed to a 1P Intel board.
A saved image is

11:43 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

AMD's Henri Richard said the following:
"I think that the biggest problem Intel has is not the color of its logo or its byline but its culture. I think that Intel executives refusing to attend a meeting, for example, if AMD is on the menu, or on stage, is just simply pathetic, but it happens time and time again. I don’t think that a company that’s worth US$120 billion or more, that’s one of the top Fortune 500 companies, should ever condone that kind of behavior, and I don’t understand why Intel is not welcoming free and open competition, especially from a much smaller competitor."

7:27 PM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger [[Rodney]] said...

There's little doubt that the graphic designer in question is no longer working on behalf of Intel. And if it was in-house, why didn't they have a pool of images of Intel boards to use? And if it was outsourced, they should have supplied an image.

Too funny!

7:05 PM, March 17, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

The graphics artist has no clue what kind of MB it was, that's expected.

The problem was, Intel's CTO looked at that image many times and did not see it was an AMD board -- that is not funny at all. It indicates that Intel's CTO has little clue on CPUs and motherboards. The board was an AMD, it's so obvious even if you are not familiar with server boards.

8:57 PM, March 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

INTeL is envius of AMD so they used there board as a goal because of the superior archatecure

6:11 AM, April 18, 2006  
Anonymous George said...

FIRE HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8:38 AM, May 02, 2006  

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