View Full Version : Why hasn't IBM enter the consumer CPU market?
IBM has fab technology that is well ahead of Intel and AMD's but is mainly used in their workstation processors. Why can't they leverage this tech to develope something like a Pentium4 class consumer processor? I haven't done much reseach on this, have they done something like this before?
I mean, even Via is doing it with their craptacular C3, why hasn't IBM done anything with all their technical might? And now with AMD going down the road (financially) of 3dfx, what could happen?
IBM is already in the consumer cpu market. Powerpc 4 (mac) is a leverage of their migthy power4 cpu technology.
IBM has fab technology that is well ahead of Intel and AMD's but is mainly used in their workstation processors.
IBM has a whole bunch of kewl process technology, that doesn't mean they have a whole bunch of fab capcity or that it is economical. Basically, I'm sure one could use all that cool stuff they have but come out with a processor that costs too much to make. Intel's fab tech is FAR ahead of anyone else, they do more with less. The difference between an engineer and a common man is the engineer can do with an ounce that a common man can do with a pound - IIRC, that's how the saying goes. Regardless, Intel can cheaply produce a lot of CPUs. Basically the same thing with AMD.
Why can't they leverage this tech to develope something like a Pentium4 class consumer processor?
The amount of R&D and layout work that went into the that processor was far more than would be economical for IBM to muster up considering the market they'd have with one of their Power architectures. The cost per unit would be TOO high. x86 can afford huge R&D budgets and design processes, this is one reason why x86 processors go around spanking far more expensive processers in SPEC CPU.
I haven't done much reseach on this, have they done something like this before?
I'm not sure if this counts. But remember way back when about the Mac clones? Well IIRC what was going with that was that IBM, Motorolla and a few others were making a open PPC platform that would go head to head with x86. The plan was to mimic the x86 market model. Well Apple came in and stopped it. This was a serious blow to further PPC development for Apple. Seeing as they don't have the volume sales which would afford their CPUs to have big budgets.
I mean, even Via is doing it with their craptacular C3, why hasn't IBM done anything with all their technical might?
Well they could, but how much money would they make? Is it worth their while to take on Intel. Remember, Intel is an incredibly powerful company, one that would cause IBM to pause before taking it on. Even with a good product AMD is having a lot of trouble - of course they haven't executed flawlessly so they are partly to blame for their situation.
And now with AMD going down the road (financially) of 3dfx, what could happen?
Stockpile CPUs while they're cheap and hope that AMD doesn't go the way of the dodo?
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