Intel's PIII-S Coming?

By Nils Dahl

Date: October 31, 2001

Yes, another cold has gotten me down. Part of my heritage of immune system weakness that started in pre-school days. And my best friend is going through work and personal problems that require my support. So I just have not been able to approach the flaming processor situation with my usual vigor.

One neat point - the first page of Tom's Hot Spot article has a composite picture of a Hammerdrill - either Hilti or Siemens (both German makes) boring a deep hole in concrete. The flames are added for effect and are colored green, typical of copper spectrum when it burns. From this picture, I can read Tom's intent quite clearly. The entire affair smells of Intel pr work - moderately inept due to lack of technical background in the individuals guiding the project. The wording of both articles is full of logical flaws and obviously incorrect assumptions. A holder of a doctorate in medicine is trained in critical analysis and should know quite well just how weak arguments or flawed tests can destroy one's reputation as a researcher, so I assume that the German partner created and carried out the 'test' - but Tom put his name on the results. Finally, both articles appear just before the nForce launch in Germany - timed in a way that is assumed to be useful in attempting to discredit AMD during the nForce launch.

I could dig up some details of using forward-biased semiconductor junctions for heat sensing - the books are sitting around. But AMD has that same knowledge and a highly credible staff to release press statements. Maybe this mess will serve as a wake-up call to AMD, letting them know just what kinds of sabotage efforts they are faced with.

Some big news anyway. Intel's server division is releasing that PIII-S (pinout changed to make it unusable in existing PIII motherboards) with new motherboards that use QUAD INTERLEAVED ddr sdram. Intel is validating the nForce memory design and actually so scared of nForce that it has gone one step farther. Historically, only Apple ever used quad interleaving and only in its older top of the line designs - and I am not sure of which models featured this extra boost, maybe the 950. See, interleaving of any memory design significantly improves the streaming of large files and does reduce latency somewhat - when properly implemented. Interleaving invariably works best when combined with a sophisticated backside cache - and currently only Intel's Xeon has such a design. So I am willing to speculate that PIII-S will appear in Xeon 'blades' soon and will be matched with QUAD Interleaved ddr sdram also.

Anyway, I am going to let AMD fight this battle. They just might learn something and begin preparing for even nastier tactics that are sure to come.

nils dahl
just an old man


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