Info [TPU] Intel Internal Memo Reveals that even Intel is Impressed by AMD's Progress

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#2
Breaks out a big bag of cyber popcorn and awaits the amusement.
 
Feb 23, 2017
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#3
I like the bit where they say they've invested a fortune in being at the forefront of security.
You really couldn't make it up.

Edit: I also find it incredible that they say that they're going to have to rely more on their sales and marketing teams, essentially admitting that their products can't sell themselves due to any number of reasons listed in the article.
 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
8,321
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#4
ICX was added back to the roadmap which takes advantage of 10nm and our new Sunny Cove uARCH to improve our Perf/ W
Interesting... Wonder what quantities that is going to be available in.
 

maddie

Platinum Member
Jul 18, 2010
2,697
641
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#5
This comment was very interesting. We all speak of Intel hiring like crazy, but I never saw this mentioned "hemorrhaging talent".

"
JohnThe "secret sauce" section of this article (personally) makes me cringe. There isn't one piece of evidence that makes me hopeful for Intel in the short term when it comes to competing vs. AMD - no numerics at all, except for how big our former SSG [editor: Software and Services Group] is. Having more SW engineers than AMD? Not convincing. Technology portfolio? Not convincing, esp. given that AMD has much more Graphics/Gaming technology expertise AI/DL expertise? It's pretty clear that we are following in this regard as well. AMD is on fire, esp. given it's size. They continually squeak out new products with less people, and have leap-frogged our HW several times in the past. They have a competitive product with FAR more cores/threads -- which is a huge marketing ploy, and has been what our customers have been asking for. There's no excuse for why we didn't do the same, and now we're in a race to catch up at a time where we are hemorrhaging talent, while also feeling the consequences of the past 5-8 years of mgmt decisions in the way we manage our CPU teams, and the priorities of that mgmt.
 

Hitman928

Golden Member
Apr 15, 2012
1,797
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#6
This comment was very interesting. We all speak of Intel hiring like crazy, but I never saw this mentioned "hemorrhaging talent".

"
JohnThe "secret sauce" section of this article (personally) makes me cringe. There isn't one piece of evidence that makes me hopeful for Intel in the short term when it comes to competing vs. AMD - no numerics at all, except for how big our former SSG [editor: Software and Services Group] is. Having more SW engineers than AMD? Not convincing. Technology portfolio? Not convincing, esp. given that AMD has much more Graphics/Gaming technology expertise AI/DL expertise? It's pretty clear that we are following in this regard as well. AMD is on fire, esp. given it's size. They continually squeak out new products with less people, and have leap-frogged our HW several times in the past. They have a competitive product with FAR more cores/threads -- which is a huge marketing ploy, and has been what our customers have been asking for. There's no excuse for why we didn't do the same, and now we're in a race to catch up at a time where we are hemorrhaging talent, while also feeling the consequences of the past 5-8 years of mgmt decisions in the way we manage our CPU teams, and the priorities of that mgmt.
Not the first time I've heard about this. I've talked with a few former intel employees who described the corporate culture there in a very negative way. I think the CEO troubles they've had recently also haven't helped. I think many engineers put up with it for a long time because AMD was on the brink of disaster and ARM designers were still getting their footing in terms of competitive performance. Now that AMD is back and ARM designers have serious products out with a lot of company support driving them, there's a lot more options for the talented individuals to find good work.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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#7
Interesting... Wonder what quantities that is going to be available in.
It sounds like to me they wanted to say Icelake-SP because they are talking about servers.

It could really mean the HEDT version, but I thought of it just as a confirmation that Icelake is coming for servers.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
18,006
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#8
They bring up their only possible competition, the desktop, and say they are king. The new Ryzen mobiles are pretty good, and less expensive.
 
Oct 10, 1999
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#9
I can't imagine them not being impressed. IMO, Ryzen isn't quite as big a leap as Athlon was, but I think it is going to be much more substantial as far as longterm Market consequences are concerned. Intel got too complacent at a bad time while AMD solved their path away from Death. Intel has fewer options to respond with, AMD has captured a lot of Corporate Mindshare. That said, when Intel finally responds, AMD needs to continue to be right with them or else this time could quickly reverse.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,843
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#10
AMD CPUs looked completely hopeless 5 years ago, I don't think anyone from the outside could've predicted this, so I'm not surprised at Intel not really being "prepared" for it,
 
Aug 22, 2017
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#11
AMD CPUs looked completely hopeless 5 years ago, I don't think anyone from the outside could've predicted this, so I'm not surprised at Intel not really being "prepared" for it,
This all goes down to Intel’s 10nm problem. If they have released 10nm on schedule, Intel would have been in good position to counter.
 

moinmoin

Senior member
Jun 1, 2017
851
363
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#12
Intel continues to work with press on using real applications for evaluating performance, to produce pieces such as this one from PCPerspective.
:tearsofjoy:

I have to say overall (aside security and premium brand) it's a surprisingly candid overview. Aside the first quoted comment the following answers by Collins indicate a potentially dysfunctional work force.

Our focus needs to be on getting our execution in shape as soon as possible.(...)
Are we acting as One Intel or are we stepping on each other's toes? Are we facing our challenges with truth and transparency? (...)
As we succeed at these cultural transformations, I believe our overall competitiveness will improve too.


This all goes down to Intel’s 10nm problem. If they have released 10nm on schedule, Intel would have been in good position to counter.
At least in ST performance and power efficiency. AMD obviously thought they need to out-core Intel in the race to as many cores as soon as possible. Now with Zen 2 launching soon AMD is approaching 16 cores on desktop, 64 cores on HEDT and 128 cores on dual socket servers. Meanwhile Intel is still stuck in 2016 and even their 10nm plans very likely were focusing on monolithic dies, meaning they wouldn't have kept up in the cores race. Makes me wonder if Zen 3/4 again adds more cores.
 

guachi

Senior member
Nov 16, 2010
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#13
From the memo:
  • Intel 9th Gen Core processors are likely to lead AMD's Ryzen-based products on lightly threaded productivity benchmarks as well as many gaming benchmarks. For multi-threaded workloads, such as heavy content creation workloads, AMD's Matisse is expected to lead.

I think the author will likely be disappointed to find Ryzen 3000 beating or matching Intel even in lightly threaded or gaming benchmarks. Just my speculation, of course.

From the memo:

Q. What accounts for AMD's competitive resurgence? Did TSMC turn AMD into our biggest competitor, or is it AMD's focus on higher-end desktop and server parts?
  • From 2006 to 2017, AMD had positive net income only three of the twelve years. I'm not sure we can point to a single thing that turned AMD around. But I do think it's was absolutely rooted in the strategic changes AMD initiated in 2015/2016 that narrowed and simplified their focus. AMD shifted to focus on higher margin or premium segments, specifically high-end client, datacenter, graphics for gaming. And they continued their investment in their semi-custom and console business.
  • Rather than going after lower-margin, low-end products, they refocused on how to win higher-margin business. AMD added much-needed clarity since they were previously distracted by markets that didn't align with their strengths. They simplified their investments and roadmap and started leveraging best-in-class foundries. Most importantly, they executed to that strategy. Having a clear focus and direction helps enable great execution.
  • I also believe AMD's comeback was a result of being very product-centric. A top priority for AMD was building great products - high-performance compute and graphics solutions - from definition to development to delivery.

This part is spot on, IMO, and a very flattering picture of AMD's choices and, particularly, of management. It basically says Lisa Su is doing a great job without saying her name directly.
 
Aug 22, 2017
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#14
At least in ST performance and power efficiency. AMD obviously thought they need to out-core Intel in the race to as many cores as soon as possible. Now with Zen 2 launching soon AMD is approaching 16 cores on desktop, 64 cores on HEDT and 128 cores on dual socket servers. Meanwhile Intel is still stuck in 2016 and even their 10nm plans very likely were focusing on monolithic dies, meaning they wouldn't have kept up in the cores race. Makes me wonder if Zen 3/4 again adds more cores.
Zen 3 is 7nm+ so I don't think they will be able to increase core count on that one. If Zen 4 uses 5nm, then they might be move up the core count to 12-cores per chiplet.
I kinda expect Intel to use chiplet like design starting with Sapphire Rapids in 2021, with their own version of IF like solution.
 

DarthKyrie

Senior member
Jul 11, 2016
933
680
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#15
From the memo:
  • Intel 9th Gen Core processors are likely to lead AMD's Ryzen-based products on lightly threaded productivity benchmarks as well as many gaming benchmarks. For multi-threaded workloads, such as heavy content creation workloads, AMD's Matisse is expected to lead.

I think the author will likely be disappointed to find Ryzen 3000 beating or matching Intel even in lightly threaded or gaming benchmarks. Just my speculation, of course.

From the memo:

Q. What accounts for AMD's competitive resurgence? Did TSMC turn AMD into our biggest competitor, or is it AMD's focus on higher-end desktop and server parts?
  • From 2006 to 2017, AMD had positive net income only three of the twelve years. I'm not sure we can point to a single thing that turned AMD around. But I do think it's was absolutely rooted in the strategic changes AMD initiated in 2015/2016 that narrowed and simplified their focus. AMD shifted to focus on higher margin or premium segments, specifically high-end client, datacenter, graphics for gaming. And they continued their investment in their semi-custom and console business.
  • Rather than going after lower-margin, low-end products, they refocused on how to win higher-margin business. AMD added much-needed clarity since they were previously distracted by markets that didn't align with their strengths. They simplified their investments and roadmap and started leveraging best-in-class foundries. Most importantly, they executed to that strategy. Having a clear focus and direction helps enable great execution.
  • I also believe AMD's comeback was a result of being very product-centric. A top priority for AMD was building great products - high-performance compute and graphics solutions - from definition to development to delivery.

This part is spot on, IMO, and a very flattering picture of AMD's choices and, particularly, of management. It basically says Lisa Su is doing a great job without saying her name directly.
I think Intel treats her name like Bloody Mary's name, They're afraid she will appear when her name is said 3 times and she will bring with her 64c Epyc2 CPUs.
 

JDG1980

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2013
1,657
173
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#18
Intel Internal Memo said:
Intel 9th Gen Core processors are likely to lead AMD's Ryzen-based products on lightly threaded productivity benchmarks as well as many gaming benchmarks.
That may be wishful thinking on Intel's part. All indications so far are that the Ryzen 3000 series is going to strongly contend with Intel's best current offerings on single-thread performance. Most likely they'll trade blows, with Intel having a slight advantage in some ST workloads and AMD a slight advantage in others. But the pathological cases where AMD was behind by double-digit percentages should mostly be gone.

Intel Internal Memo said:
Intel continues to work with press on using real applications for evaluating performance, to produce pieces such as this one from PCPerspective.
That sounds pretty bad for PCPerspective. Are they acting as an Intel mouthpiece?

Intel Internal Memo said:
Xeon is still expected to have cache and memory latency advantages. For this reason, Intel still expects Xeon to be competitive on applications that require fast response times and are sensitive to memory latencies like database, analytics, web serving, and so on.
How important is this actually in most real-world applications? Does Intel have a point or are they just blowing smoke?

Intel Internal Memo said:
Intel is a premium brand. At times, and on some workloads, we might dip below on performance, like the second half of this year. At other times, and on other workloads, we are 3x or more the performance. Our pricing will continue to reflect the value we deliver to our customers.
Translation: Don't expect any price cuts, even if AMD's processors offer far better performance at the same price point. Instead, Intel is going to try to find a handful of outlier examples where their CPUs do better, and justify pricing with that.

Intel Internal Memo said:
Especially for enterprise customers, acquisition cost is just one part of the total cost of ownership. Customers using an alternative solution may need additional validation, optimization, debugging, and certifications - all normal cost adders when introducing a new solution in an IT environment.
Yet it always seems to be Intel products with the exclusive new security flaws (Meltdown, etc.) - which often damage performance to fix.

Intel Internal Memo said:
While it has been a number of years since we've faced a similar competitive environment (in the early 2000s with 1 GHz barrier, integrated memory controller, 64-bit, and so on) Intel has risen to every situation and almost always emerged better and stronger.
They dug out of that hole last time via a combination of blatantly anti-competitive tactics and poor follow-up execution by AMD. This time, I think, such tactics would receive more scrutiny and faster smackdown, and they can't count on AMD dropping the ball, certainly not nearly as badly as they did with Bulldozer.
 

ondma

Senior member
Mar 18, 2018
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#19
That may be wishful thinking on Intel's part. All indications so far are that the Ryzen 3000 series is going to strongly contend with Intel's best current offerings on single-thread performance. Most likely they'll trade blows, with Intel having a slight advantage in some ST workloads and AMD a slight advantage in others. But the pathological cases where AMD was behind by double-digit percentages should mostly be gone.



That sounds pretty bad for PCPerspective. Are they acting as an Intel mouthpiece?



How important is this actually in most real-world applications? Does Intel have a point or are they just blowing smoke?



Translation: Don't expect any price cuts, even if AMD's processors offer far better performance at the same price point. Instead, Intel is going to try to find a handful of outlier examples where their CPUs do better, and justify pricing with that.



Yet it always seems to be Intel products with the exclusive new security flaws (Meltdown, etc.) - which often damage performance to fix.



They dug out of that hole last time via a combination of blatantly anti-competitive tactics and poor follow-up execution by AMD. This time, I think, such tactics would receive more scrutiny and faster smackdown, and they can't count on AMD dropping the ball, certainly not nearly as badly as they did with Bulldozer.
Of course vastly superior Conroe had nothing to do with Intel dominating the market. It was only due to cheating, (or sour grapes from the AMD camp).
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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#20
Of course vastly superior Conroe had nothing to do with Intel dominating the market. It was only due to cheating, (or sour grapes from the AMD camp).
In the first place, where was Conroe mentioned ? Second, Conroe was over 10 years ago, it was great then, but we are talking about TODAY ! Give us a break. And sour grapes ? Over what ? The stuff Intel pulled that cost them over a billion dollars for cheating ? This entire thread is about the fact that Intel acknowledges that AMD is very competitive . So why are you in denial ?
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#21
I guess it might be possible if IO chiplet moves to 7nm, and they might be able to squeeze in 12 chiplets.
I'd argue that package area constraints are less important than power scaling where adding CCX chiplets is concerned.

Given 7nm+ is only reported to bring 15% improvement, unless the I/O die shrinking from 12nm brings a significant power drop, I would expect that an extra 2 dies would be the max they could squeeze into Zen 3/Milan as far as power budget is concerned, unless they plan to change the upper ceiling of their socket TDP of course.

Of course that isn't accounting for any uArch power improvements that Zen 3 may bring to the table on top of 7nm+ gains.

The rumours about Zen 3 having SMT4 concern me though, I have no idea how such a change would affect power consumption of the uArch relative to the multi threaded IPC gain it would bring.
 
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Apr 27, 2000
12,376
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#22
Woooowww, who leaked this gem? Somebody's gonna get smacked hard if they get caught.

Mentioning ICX seems interesting! I have a feeling they're only talking about 26c IceLake-SP though (bleh).

Practically no mention of 10nm failures. Heh.

You can summarize that entire blurb by saying, "Look guys: they have a better process and they can sell their best uarch to the public, right now. We are stuck on 14nm and can't sell Sunny Cove or Willow Cove except in low quantity at gimped clockspeeds. Any questions?"

I think Intel treats her name like Bloody Mary's name, They're afraid she will appear when her name is said 3 times and she will bring with her 64c Epyc2 CPUs.
Lisa Su
Lisa Su
Lisa Su

Okay, where's my 2P Rome system?
 

TheELF

Platinum Member
Dec 22, 2012
2,864
128
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#23
This entire thread is about the fact that Intel acknowledges that AMD is very competitive . So why are you in denial ?
No it's not about that.
Steve Collins isn't even employed by intel as far as I can tell,it's a co-founder of Havok,so even if this article actually was shared on intel Circuit News it has nothing to do with what intel thinks about this.
This is basically a listing of how the laymen see the competition right now,if intel posted this it was to show it's employees how "the media" can shape opinions.
 

maddie

Platinum Member
Jul 18, 2010
2,697
641
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#24
No it's not about that.
Steve Collins isn't even employed by intel as far as I can tell,it's a co-founder of Havok,so even if this article actually was shared on intel Circuit News it has nothing to do with what intel thinks about this.
This is basically a listing of how the laymen see the competition right now,if intel posted this it was to show it's employees how "the media" can shape opinions.
Who's commenting, Intel employees or not? Should tell anyone everything they need to know.

By the way who or what exactly is Intel? Corporate talking PR heads, or the guys in the trenches?
 

Hitman928

Golden Member
Apr 15, 2012
1,797
261
136
#25
No it's not about that.
Steve Collins isn't even employed by intel as far as I can tell,it's a co-founder of Havok,so even if this article actually was shared on intel Circuit News it has nothing to do with what intel thinks about this.
This is basically a listing of how the laymen see the competition right now,if intel posted this it was to show it's employees how "the media" can shape opinions.
Not sure if you realize this, but more than 1 person can have the same name and work in the same industry.

Steve Collins,
Director of Data Center Competitive Marketing at Intel

Just like the leaked memo says. He's worked there for 22 years.
 


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