beowulf in space

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Wed Apr 16 19:41:36 EDT 2003

> > There's also a non-negligble cost of having more items on the "bill of
> > materials": each different kind of part needs drawings, documentation, 
> test
> > procedures, etc., a lot of which is what makes space stuff so expensive
> > compared to the commercial parts (for which the primary cost driver is 
> that
> > of sand (raw materials) and marketing) so again, systems comprised of many
> > identical parts have advantages.
>Hmmm, so the primary cost determinant of VLSIC's is the cost of sand...?
>Verrry Eeenteresting...
>Now marketing, that I'd believe;-)

Say it costs a billion dollars to set up the fab (which can be spread over 
2-3 years, probably), and maybe another half billion to design the 
processor (I don't know... 2500 work years seems like a lot, but...?)... 
How many Pentiums does Intel make? It's kind of hard to figure out just how 
many chips Intel makes in a given time (such being a critical aspect of 
their profitibility), but...

consider that Intel Revenue for 2002 was about $27B....

As for marketing... in an article about P4s from April of 2001:
Intel has told news sources that it plans to spend roughly $500 million to 
promote the new technology among software makers, and another $300 million 
on general advertising.

Such enormous volumes are why commodity computing even works..The NRE for 
truly high performance computing devices is spread over so many units...

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