Intel-Altera, again

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http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id13%26741

So I guess Intel is back in the ARM business. Maybe it's just a
face-saving way to get their ARM license back.

Or, horror, we'll see an Altera SOC with x86's inside.



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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
picosecond timing   precision measurement  

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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:46:47 -0700, John Larkin

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Stratix86 XI ??

Cheers

Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:57:58 +1000, Martin Riddle  

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I think we'll see an intel something in it - so it can easily pair up with  
windows 10 and increase the hold of wintel on the IoT.

Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 7:53:56 AM UTC-4, David Eather wrote:
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Twenty years ago, Intel took the strategic direction to move
away from the Altera type products, they abandoned much of the
embedded processor base, because it didn't have the margins
of the x86 business and Intel lost interest in it.
Now with the PC business flattening out,
no Intel presence in cell phones, desperate for future growth,
I guess the markets that most of that Altera stuff goes into,
that Intel walked away from, now look good.

Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Tue, 2 Jun 2015 08:16:34 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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It sounds like Intel wants the "data center" business which,
realistically, is better suited to ARM than x86. Ditto IoT silliness.

One of my engineers knows an Intel person. Iperson complained to her
how awful the x86 products are. All the x86s are fluffed-up 8008s,
really a 4004 architecture; clumsy, microcoded, register-poor, ugly
things. They get performance from extraordinary kluges and superb
silicon fab.

It's weird that everything non-x86 that Intel has tried was a failure.
Bubble memory, DRAM, iapx32, their own (960?) RISC thing, their lapsed
ARM license, Itanic. They are frantic to keep x86 alive, way past its
natural death.

Xilinx has better silicon than Altera, but we cut over to Altera
because the Xilinx development software is so bad. Intel is famous for
sneering at small users, so we fear that we'll have to go back to
Xilinx or something.

Trying to get the Thunderbolt chip data sheets from Intel was
incredible. We'd need a team of lawyers and proof that we'd buy tens
of thousands a year... to see the data sheets! It's no accident that
Thunderbolt looks like another failure.

There are rumors already that people are steering away from Altera for
new designs. We might. We've done two ZYNQ SOC projects, which were
great except for the vile Xilinx software.


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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
picosecond timing   laser drivers and controllers

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Re: Intel-Altera, again
John Larkin wrote:
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Not sure of that, really. Depends on the data center. And I am really
not sure how an FPGA onboard helps with a data center.

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Starting with the 486 it was all cache all the time
for performance.

But I know of three separate directors who regretted not going
that way. Just being able to spec DRAM alone( not that
you could not for Moto or PPC ) would have probably
saved a couple of 'em.

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Nothing weird about it - the Wintel bubble was huge.

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No accident at all - the only reason 1488/Firewire did well was
a defacto "monopoly" ( nothing else had that corner of latency and speed  
) and second-source -you could even run 1488 on a PeeCee.

Thunderbolt looks like a Beta offering now  ( in the Beta v. VHS
sense ).

Apple's slowly pivoting into a fashion company. No kidding; it's
really happening.  They have gone oh so vertical - didn't get the
Henry Ford memo, I guess....

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The FPGA software problem will be with us apparently ...forever. Why I'd
a' thought by now...

--  
Les Cargill


Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Tue, 02 Jun 2015 17:44:41 -0500, Les Cargill

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There's a lot of noise about it. Google   fpga in data center

An x86 needs all the help it can get.


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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
picosecond timing   precision measurement  

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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On 6/2/2015 11:49 AM, John Larkin wrote:
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I have a raspberry Pi and a 4 year old netbook powered by an Intel Atom.  
  They seem to have similar performance and I would expect that the more  
modern Atoms have similar power consumption (although the netbook stays  
powered a pretty long time).

I would bet that for IoT the Atom will work just as well as any of the  
higher end ARMs.  I'm not sure how a combined FPGA/CPU part would be  
much better for IoT though.  I think you can add a *lot* of dedicated  
hardware for the same silicon as a much less capable FPGA fabric.  For  
IoT the flexibility of FPGAs doesn't buy a lot.  Just ask Cypress.  They  
have been pushing "programmable" digital and analog hardware in their  
PSOC devices for many years and they have yet to set the world on fire.  
  In fact, some of their PSOC devices are hard to distinguish from other  
MCUs except that they have fewer peripherals.


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DRAM?  Intel started out making DRAM!  They didn't fail at it.  Intel  
dumped DRAM long before others because they saw that it was a commodity  
business with lots of downside and little upside potential.  There are  
plenty of DRAM companies that either didn't make it or had to be folded  
into the fewer survivors each year.


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Xilinx has always claimed to have better silicon than Altera, but that  
is not largely true.  Most designs in FPGAs only use a fraction of the  
available logic so that it really matters little just how effective the  
logic is.  What matters is how well the result works which is mostly a  
software function.  The last company I worked for put FPGA design in the  
software department.  Very few designs ever push hard on FPGA hardware.


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Lol, the fact that they don't want to share them with you doesn't mean  
they won't be selling lots of parts.  Mostly this is to keep from  
wasting resources on unprofitable customers and by that I mean they can  
never make enough profit from you to show up in any of their balance  
sheets.  TI did this to me with some DSP products some years back.  I  
don't think that spelled the end of TI dominance in DSP.


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Yeah, so you should clearly avoid the company that helps reduce your  
development time and improves the quality of the final product.  Focus  
on the unit cost for those qty 1000 a year products.

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Rick

Re: Intel-Altera, again

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I think that 99% of this IoT stuff is silly. I don't want my
refrigerator to count my calories. But IoT is cited as one reason for
the Altera acquisition.



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They quit making it.  

CPUs will be a cheap commodity soon, too. Intel won't be able to
charge kilobucks for a processor when people can license a respectable
CPU from ARM and tuck it into the corner of an ASIC for 50 cents.


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The fewer people that make Thunderbolt boxes, the fewer people will
care to buy CPUs with Thunderbolt ports. IBM sold a lot of computers
because all sorts of people could make ISA cards.  

It's OK. It turns out that I don't need to make Thunderbolt boxes
because my customers don't want it.

Good thing Intel doesn't own Ethernet.


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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
picosecond timing   laser drivers and controllers

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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On 6/2/2015 10:56 PM, John Larkin wrote:
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I don't think you know what IoT is.


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Because it was not a good profit center.  Not because they "failed" at  
it.  They were making DRAM when it was profitable (early days) and got  
out when it became the same as selling bread and milk with low profit  
margins.


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Define "soon".  PCs are clearly not growing much and the market will  
continue to weaken.  But so far there is no challenger to x86 in the PC  
market.  Intel is not in any way in danger of going out of business  
anytime soon.


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Just as with most companies they sell first to the most profitable  
customers and only to the general market once the beachhead is  
established.  But then you have always overestimated your own importance.

--  

Rick

Re: Intel-Altera, again

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They won't sell any if there's no ecostructure.



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If thousands of big and small companies made Thunderbolt peripherials,
more people would want to use it. Intel is doing what it can to
prevent that.

Looks like USB and Ethernet will be the way computers can get out to
the world.





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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
picosecond timing   laser drivers and controllers

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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Tue, 02 Jun 2015 19:56:20 -0700, the renowned John Larkin

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IoT was listed as a possible application for some new CPUs- CPUs with
no Ethernet or Wifi or BT etc.0 peripherals and not enough memory to
run a decent stack. That was on the investor-oriented press release.
They omitted that stuff on the one aimed at engineers. It's not
technically a lie- one *could* use such a processor to offload the
main one, but..  


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Best regards,  
Spehro Pefhany
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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On 06/03/2015 08:38 AM, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
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Given that malware evolves in Lamarckian fashion, it's hard to beat dumb  
electromechanical stuff for security.

I'll pay extra for a boiler that uses a thermopile to control the pilot,  
for instance, and there's no way in the world I'm going to put networked  
surveillance equipment in my house.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs


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Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:38:54 -0400, Spehro Pefhany

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This is great:

http://www.gizmag.com/hidrate-water-bottle/37852/

Smart water bottles.



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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Tue, 02 Jun 2015 19:56:20 -0700, John Larkin

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Perhaps the idea is to send a message to your cell phone to remind you
that you left the refrigerator light on.  It makes more sense,

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They already are, except x86 and that can't last.
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No, but Broadcom thinks they do but they just got bought by Avago, of
all companies (guess there are blinkin' lights on Ethernet ports).

Re: Intel-Altera, again

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I have an advanced fridge that turns the light off automatically when
I close the door.

But I would cancel my vacation and fly home from Paris if I knew that
the fridge light was on.


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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
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Re: Intel-Altera, again
On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 11:26:09 -0700, John Larkin

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That doesn't change the fact that it makes more sense.  ;-)

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If it can tell you it's on when you're in Paris (why you'd want to go
there is another question), you can turn it off from there, too.  This
Internet thing goes both ways.  

Re: Intel-Altera, again

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Actually, I've been to Paris several times, and don't greatly like the
place. London is great; Oxford is magical. Truckee is close.

But the IoT thing looks mostly horrible to me... being realtime
bombarded with trivial inputs like my pulse rate and the soil moisture
in my back yard, and how long my blender has run. Why does a blender
need wifi? Twitter just isn't enough stimulation for some people. IoT
is another investment bubble, like nanotechnology.


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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
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Re: Intel-Altera, again
-On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 20:58:07 -0700, John Larkin

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Actually, I'd like to have my heart rate logged.  I probably take it
20 times  a day. EKG too, but after wearing a 5-wire monitor (with too
short leads) 24hrs/day for the last week, not that much (missing
patches of skin on my chest).

Not sure why a blender needs WiFi, but Jimmy Buffet might GPS on his
salt shaker.

Re: Intel-Altera, again

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The killer, actually useful app would log pulse rate and blood
pressure all day. Too bad there's no decent non-intusive BP sensor. It
would have to be implanted, I guess.


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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
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