Commentary on Ashraf Eassa's Tragedy
Mr. Eassa at SA wrote the this sentimental piece: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1755942-the-tragedy-of-amd
And below is my response:
AMD failure to dethrone Intel last time was not solely due to its own fault. AMD's success was then based on major innovation in CPU, namely AMD64 coupled with HyperTransport, IMC and multi-core.
The problem was, Intel secretly copied the AMD64 instruction set into its Netburst architecture. Intel's illegal monopoly also thwarted AMD's market effort. Many companies had been paid by Intel not to use AMD. This gave Intel the time to copycat AMD in all aspects. Intel even used multi-chip shared on an FSB to fake multi-core. Although Intel later had to pay billions of dollars for its illegal moves, the damage to AMD was done.
This time is different.
AMD is integrating three pieces of intellectual property: AMD64, GPGPU and Fabric.
AMD64+GPGPU leads to PS4, XBox One and more visual computing client deals.
AMD64+Fabric will grab a major chunk of the cloud data center.
Yet another weapon AMD has is the ability to do ARM64.
ARM64+GPGPU and ARM64+Fabric will be equally potent.
According to some rumors, the next gen AMD chips will have Fabric built-in.
The new AMD is about system level integration on a single piece of silicon.
Where does Intel stand?
In the APU front, Intel tries to copycat AMD by integrating 3rd party graphics with its x86 cores, but its reliance on third party technology is a major obstacle to its journey to the other bank where AMD is leaping ahead. A plausible proposal for PS4 and XB1 would be an Intel CPU+Nvidia GPU, but both Sony and Microsoft chose the 8-core Jaguar. Microsoft and SONY chose AMD not because they loved Intel less, but because they loved AMD technology more.
With its heavy investment, Intel has always been ahead on FAB process. But that advantage has not stopped ARM from taking over the mobile world nor provided Intel significant performance or efficiency lead over the 28nm process used by the rest of the chip industry. According to Intel, 14nm is going to provide a 30% boost to power efficiency, but that's hardly earth shattering.
More importantly, Intel lacks system level integration.