Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Saturday 19 July 2008

A Mixed Celebration

A Pentium 4 Chip
Picture: PC World

Intel, the principal maker of processors for computers is celebrating its 40th anniversary. A huge success commercially of course, Intel can look back with satisfaction at the staggering technical progress made during its lifetime.

Consider that Intel made the first true micro-processor, the 4004 in 1971; its speed? 108kHz. By 2005 Intel had announced its Pentium 4 "Extreme" version, running at 3.8GHz - a 3,000,000% improvement. Since then of course, multi-core processors have taken over, with four-core processors becoming increasingly common and eight-core types in the pipeline. PC World has produced an interesting "Timeline" story.

On the other hand, as time passes and companies grow, they are apt to become increasingly aggressive in defending their market share, or in Intel's case, dominance.

And so it is, with arguably rather unfortunate timing, the EU regulators have, following lengthy investigations, accused Intel of paying distributors not to stock - or delay stocking - products containing rival AMD's processors and also paying computer manufacturers not to use AMD products in their machines.

The full story from the BBC may be found here; it seems that the EU regulators have the power to fine Intel up to 10% of its turnover, a tidy sum by any standards and a most unfortunate un-birthday present!

[Note to Intel: this article was composed on a computer that is equipped with an AMD 64 5600+ dual-core processor]

Until the next time.

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