Intel acquiring Pallas

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Thu Aug 28 13:53:32 EDT 2003

At 11:50 AM 8/28/2003 -0400, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:
>Robert G. Brown wrote:
>>Interesting.  I'm trying to understand where and how this will help them
>>-- more often than not it is a Bad Thing when hardware mfrs start
>>dabbling in something higher than firmware or compilers -- Apple (and
>>Next in its day) stands at one end of that path.
>>It's especially curious given that Intel is already overwhelmingly
>>dominant in the compute cluster arena (with only AMD a meaningful
>>cluster competitor, and with apple and the PPC perhas a distant third).
>>Not to mention the fact that if they REALLY wanted to get an edge in the
>>compute cluster arena, they'd acquire somebody like Dolphin or Myricom.
>>   rgb
>   Very interesting observation. I wonder if Intel doesn't have something
>else up their sleeve? Could they be trying to get back into Supercomputer
>game (not likely, but didn't they get some DoD money recently?). Could
>they be helping with networking stuff (Intel has been discussing the next
>generation networking stuff lately). Maybe some sort of TCP Offload
>Engine? Maybe something with their new bus ( PCI Express?) They have also
>created CSA (Communication Streaming Architecture) in their new chipset
>to bypass the PCI bottleneck. Of course they could also be after the Pallas
>parallel debuggers to integrate into their compilers (like you mentioned)
>or perhaps to help with debugging threaded code in the hyperthreaded chips.
>   Not that you mention it, this is a somewhat interesting development.
>I wonder what they're up to?

Intel is making a big push into wireless and RF technology.  A recent 
article ( I don't recall where exactly,but one of the trade rags..) 
mentioned that the mass market (consumer) don't seem to need much more 
processor crunch (at least until Windows XXXP comes out, then you'll need 
all that power just to apply the patches), but that they saw a big market 
opportunity in integrated wireless networking.  Simultaneously, the 
generalized tanking of the telecom industry has meant that they can hire 
very skilled RF engineers for reasonable wages without having to compete 
against speculative piles of options, etc. (I suspect that there are some 
skilled RF engineers who are now older and wiser and less speculative, 
too!)   We're talking about RF chip designers, as well as PWB layout, 
circuit designers, and antenna folks.

It wouldn't surprise me that Intel is looking at other areas than 
traditional CPU and processor support kinds of roles.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Telecommunications Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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