Can we have a moment of silence (or several million dollars) . . . please?

Douglas Eadline deadline at plogic.com
Tue Jun 26 22:44:07 EDT 2001


On Mon, 25 Jun 2001, Greg Lindahl wrote:

> > 3) Take the cost to design and fab a cpu (>$1 Billion) and divide
> >    by number of units sold and see how much you need to make
> >    a living.
>
> Hello? A cpu does not take up an entire fab. If it's built in small
> volumes, it shares with other items.  The Power3/4, MIPS, and
> Transmeta chips do not have dedicated fabs; I don't think the Samsung
> fab that makes Alphas is dedicated either. The whole reason Digital
> sold their fab to Intel was to take advantage of the fact that it was
> mostly idle, but that Intel can fill it up. Today, if you want
> something fabbed in low volume, like the custom chip on a Myrinet
> board, which contains a CPU, you go to one of the 2 companies in
> Taiwan that offers a fab for low-volume use.
>
> On the design side, AMD proved that they can design a cpu with 1/10
> the money it costs Intel. The Alpha team has likewise been extremely
> cost effective. 1/10 the design cost on 1/100 the sales does make for
> higher overhead, but not necessarily a prohibitive cost.
>
> One of the most annoying parts of mostly off-topic discussions is when
> people give "facts" that aren't. I know your intentions are good, but
> can we discuss commodity clusters?


Wow. I was just trying to point out that as fabrication costs
get higher, you need to sell more cpus to make money.
Perhaps my example was to simplistic, but the cost of the fab
has to be recovered and as the cost of fab gets higher,
low production runs get expensive.

Intel just put in a $2 billion fab in Ireland (.13 micron)
I was not aware that there were companies that will invest
$2 billion to make a .13 micron low-volume/short run fab.

This topic is relevant to me because because I want to make sure I
understand how and where the commodity market will change.
Having a feel for the economics of the market is important.


Doug
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