Intel Internal Document Details How It Will Counter the AMD Threat

cageymaru

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Reddit user u/scv_good_to_go has released an internal Intel employee document from the company's Circuit News portal. Intel details how AMD recovered, became streamlined to focus on its core business, why the Intel ecosystem is still better, the future of the core wars, and much more!

TechPowerUp covered it and has some quotes from Intel employees at the end of their article on the topic.

Fixed Images! Click to enlarge.

Circuit News(1).png Circuit News(2).png Circuit News(3).png Circuit News(4).png Circuit News(5).png
 
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OrangeKhrush

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I love internal documents that use fictitious terminology like "ecosystem" and "secret sauce". Basically they accept a challenge and will try meet the challenge with better product would suffice. I am questioning the legitimacy of this document.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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A few thoughts I have on this internal article:
  • Overall it is surprisingly fair for a document that is supposed to rally the troops. You'd expect it to be more biased. There are some things I disagree with though.
  • Firstly, what jumps out at me is the glaring omission of mentioning Intels 10nm process woes as a very large part of why Intel find themselves in this position. Maybe there was someone or a group of people in the organization they didn't want to offend, or point the finger at?
  • They correctly point out that AMD will have the advantage in HEDT applications, but claim that they expect Intel will retain leadership on lightly threaded workloads and gaming. I think this is a pretty good educated guess. Intel's top clocked chips will likely retain the single threaded leadership which is very important in games in most cases. What I think they are intentionally not stating here is that AMD won't be far behind, and in certain price matchups may even lead in this metric. (the 3600 seems hard to beat at the price, even with INtel's rumored price cuts). I suspect that even where Ryzen 3000 chips are behind in single threaded metrics, it will be to the point where the small difference is barely relevant at all.
  • I'm really surprised this document is even necessary. If you work in an industry, you'd think you would be up to speed with what is going on in that industry.

I'm not usually a big fan of Intels. I own their products, but have often been a huge critic of their business practices. Because of this I was a little surprised to see how rational and fair minded this internal analysis was. Maybe the company which over its history time and time again has been happy to use borderline unethical and litigious business practices to maintain their competitive position is changing into a nicer gentler, more fair Intel? Time will tell I guess.
 

OrangeKhrush

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A few thoughts I have on this internal article:
  • Overall it is surprisingly fair for a document that is supposed to rally the troops. You'd expect it to be more biased. There are some things I disagree with though.
  • Firstly, what jumps out at me is the glaring omission of mentioning Intels 10nm process woes as a very large part of why Intel find themselves in this position. Maybe there was someone or a group of people in the organization they didn't want to offend, or point the finger at?
  • They correctly point out that AMD will have the advantage in HEDT applications, but claim that they expect Intel will retain leadership on lightly threaded workloads and gaming. I think this is a pretty good educated guess. Intel's top clocked chips will likely retain the single threaded leadership which is very important in games in most cases. What I think they are intentionally not stating here is that AMD won't be far behind, and in certain price matchups may even lead in this metric. (the 3600 seems hard to beat at the price, even with INtel's rumored price cuts). I suspect that even where Ryzen 3000 chips are behind in single threaded metrics, it will be to the point where the small difference is barely relevant at all.
  • I'm really surprised this document is even necessary. If you work in an industry, you'd think you would be up to speed with what is going on in that industry.

I'm not usually a big fan of Intels. I own their products, but have often been a huge critic of their business practices. Because of this I was a little surprised to see how rational and fair minded this internal analysis was. Maybe the company which over its history time and time again has been happy to use borderline unethical and litigious business practices to maintain their competitive position is changing into a nicer gentler, more fair Intel? Time will tell I guess.

While I doubt that the el chapabubblegum benchmarks are real, on face value if we assume they are real then that will be a big problem because they claimed the 3600 ran stock clocks and it comes nowhere near intel clocks but in all but memory latency tests and farcry 5 it gives the 9900K a good running.

If it is real and someone from el chapabubblegum is reading this, and you warrant that as real performance, PM me ill pay $1000 dollars for that part, if it is faked you only have to give me back $700 meaning you win anyways as it will retail for 300 bucks. That is about as strong a test of a warrant of performance review can be, it is win win.
 
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cageymaru

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I think they sat on their hands for too long and this is their rewards. Didn't listen to their customers. We asked for cores and they didn't listen. When they finally listened, the value wasn't there for some of their customers because the competition delivered at a much lower price point.

I hope they get their chip production woes figured out because our military needs the best tech for their chips. How is the USA going to get 5 nanometer chips from South Korea during a war with China? I wouldn't mind owning a new Intel CPU in the future. I'm going to get at least an entry level Intel GPU just for the integer scaling. I play lots of older games that utilize pixel art. I hear it is great for that.
 

Ikasu

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I laughed hard at the security mention being their benefit. Among all the security flaws hitting there chips, and zombieload being the latest. Even mentioning security is laughable. Looking forward to the new threadripper chips, hopefully they don't get pushed back at years end. Going to drop my 7940x and jump up to a new cpu once they hit.
 

Dan_D

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The document is interesting, but it misses several key points and shows how Intel ended up in this predicament. The document tries to justify Intel's higher pricing and extols virtues of software dominance that aren't relevant on the desktop. At least, not directly to the customer. Intel working with software vendors has always been huge for them but this doesn't mean anything in the desktop market where Intel faces its biggest challenges. Intel not being able to get its manufacturing processes to competitive levels is a huge part of why it suffers here. If Intel were able to shrink the die and cut power consumption, they could re-invest in more cores and other performance improvements as AMD has.

Intel seems to be ignoring the fact that they are facing a huge perception problem regarding security. Intel's basically a laughing stock right now on that front and security mitigations are robbing their CPU's of what advantages they currently have. More than that, its a PR nightmare. While the security on the desktop is less of a concern, it is an area where large enterprises have taken note. All the IT people working extra patching servers and evaluating performance loss are keenly aware of the issue and for the first time in perhaps ever, may be interested in looking towards AMD for future server solutions. Also, the document basically says: "Intel has always risen to the challenge and come out stronger." This is true, but it fails to indicate any strategy for achieving this.
 

MMitch

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The document is interesting, but it misses several key points and shows how Intel ended up in this predicament. The document tries to justify Intel's higher pricing and extols virtues of software dominance that aren't relevant on the desktop. At least, not directly to the customer. Intel working with software vendors has always been huge for them but this doesn't mean anything in the desktop market where Intel faces its biggest challenges. Intel not being able to get its manufacturing processes to competitive levels is a huge part of why it suffers here. If Intel were able to shrink the die and cut power consumption, they could re-invest in more cores and other performance improvements as AMD has.

Intel seems to be ignoring the fact that they are facing a huge perception problem regarding security. Intel's basically a laughing stock right now on that front and security mitigations are robbing their CPU's of what advantages they currently have. More than that, its a PR nightmare. While the security on the desktop is less of a concern, it is an area where large enterprises have taken note. All the IT people working extra patching servers and evaluating performance loss are keenly aware of the issue and for the first time in perhaps ever, may be interested in looking towards AMD for future server solutions. Also, the document basically says: "Intel has always risen to the challenge and come out stronger." This is true, but it fails to indicate any strategy for achieving this.
Such internal emails are aimed at large (very large) to keep people somewhat knowledgeable but mainly confident in the brand while thinking they're important because they were shared this and that.
It's always very light in details and for sure won't mention any plan / products that are not public knowledge.

Probably all Intel employees get that email but it should be flagged internal only which also means that 90% probably don't even bother reading it because it takes time and they only care to finish and go home. Remember, all employees gets it.
I think this was sent to shape the mind of employees so they can talk to their peers and family and hype it up from inside... Like a story of a guy I know knows someone that works at Intel and said they would crush AMD soon...
 

Ikasu

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You left out the IHS using wood screws instead of solder or tim.
And the gasoline generator to power that 28 core. Although considering the power delivery required on their new 28 core xeon along with ROG Dominus board, not too far from the truth. =P
 

Inacurate

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A few thoughts I have on this internal article:
  • I'm really surprised this document is even necessary. If you work in an industry, you'd think you would be up to speed with what is going on in that industry.
Am I the only one who feels this document is word crafted specifically with the intent for release to certain internal employee's or more widely the general public?

I would say there's uneasy feeling Intel has an insufficient response to AMD & their 10nm issues and this document may encourage the right people (internal & external) to have a stronger positive impression of the response that is there.
Or could possibly soften worse news yet to come?

I'm not generally a conspiracy theorist, however this entire format is questionable to me, coupled with the lack of certain pertinent information, very curious as well.

Huh.
Competition is good. :)
 

MMitch

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Am I the only one who feels this document is word crafted specifically with the intent for release to certain internal employee's or more widely the general public?

I would say there's uneasy feeling Intel has an insufficient response to AMD & their 10nm issues and this document may encourage the right people (internal & external) to have a stronger positive impression of the response that is there.
Or could possibly soften worse news yet to come?

I'm not generally a conspiracy theorist, however this entire format is questionable to me, coupled with the lack of certain pertinent information, very curious as well.

Huh.
Competition is good. :)
Yup I think the same, seems like strategic damage control per say. Your employees are marketing tools too and using personal feeling to hype the market is brilliant.
I think they buff the intel average joe so they can share their wisdom around and push the hype train to keep market interest in Intel response without involving official channels since those are risky (see 28 cores chiller for more details).
 

clockdogg

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The Big Blue Words are more powerful AND secure than any wimpy 7nm 16 core abomination that may threaten share value.
 

Biznatch

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Until they release a generation of CPUs with hardware fixes for the critical vulnerabilities that require performance neutering software patches to mitigate, their raw performance comparison with AMD is useless......
 

Araxie

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so... translation.. "we don't have a fucking clue on how to fight agaisn't AMD, we lost this fight, we are fucked until couple of years and we are going to try to do some shady things to force companies intel stuff instead of AMD as we did in the past.."

in another topic to me it seems this document was made to be leaked on purpose to make it seems intel is relaxed about AMD being beyond competitive.
 

Snowdog

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  • Firstly, what jumps out at me is the glaring omission of mentioning Intels 10nm process woes as a very large part of why Intel find themselves in this position. Maybe there was someone or a group of people in the organization they didn't want to offend, or point the finger at?
This isn't a wallow in our mistakes document. It's more about assessing where they are, and what they are going to do about it.

But they do address process issues getting them into this position. Here is a relevant quote:

"Our focus needs to be on getting our execution in shape as soon as possible. We’re in a competitive time partly because of our execution issues, whether that’s related to our process technology node, or to our products that intercept those nodes. So I think that execution to our roadmap and strategy will help tremendously."

So they are stating fairly clearly that they are in this mess partially because they messed up on process execution (obv 10nm), and product that were supposed to to use those processes. The other big part is probably AMDs good execution which they also mention.

They give one real nice complement to AMD. One perhaps one they should consider following:

"I also believe AMD’s comeback was a result of being very product-centric. A top priority for AMD was building great products"

It does seem like at times, companies get preoccupied with marketing, targeting segments, and ecosystem synergy and don't work that hard on building the great products that would practically sell themselves. Hopefully the guy that wrote that about AMD, recognizes the value of Intel doing the same.
 

Dan_D

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Such internal emails are aimed at large (very large) to keep people somewhat knowledgeable but mainly confident in the brand while thinking they're important because they were shared this and that.
It's always very light in details and for sure won't mention any plan / products that are not public knowledge.

Probably all Intel employees get that email but it should be flagged internal only which also means that 90% probably don't even bother reading it because it takes time and they only care to finish and go home. Remember, all employees gets it.
I think this was sent to shape the mind of employees so they can talk to their peers and family and hype it up from inside... Like a story of a guy I know knows someone that works at Intel and said they would crush AMD soon...
I get that and that's a fair point. However, the thread title is "Intel internal document details how it will counter the AMD threat." It really doesn't. As you said, its pretty much something to improve the moral of the company minions by pointing out what Intel is good at and how its weathered this sort of thing before. All of which is true.
 

OrangeKhrush

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If I were AMD I'd be trolling now, I would do a serious toned video showing that the success is in fact attributed to basic wood glue and show technicians gluing complexes to the substrate, that would be epic, no scratch that.....epyc
 

mda

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The document mentions 15K developers.

I'd like to know what software these developers are making. Is what they are doing mostly server-side we don't see?
 

jardows

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This isn't a wallow in our mistakes document. It's more about assessing where they are, and what they are going to do about it.

But they do address process issues getting them into this position. Here is a relevant quote:

"Our focus needs to be on getting our execution in shape as soon as possible. We’re in a competitive time partly because of our execution issues, whether that’s related to our process technology node, or to our products that intercept those nodes. So I think that execution to our roadmap and strategy will help tremendously."

So they are stating fairly clearly that they are in this mess partially because they messed up on process execution (obv 10nm), and product that were supposed to to use those processes. The other big part is probably AMDs good execution which they also mention.

They give one real nice complement to AMD. One perhaps one they should consider following:

"I also believe AMD’s comeback was a result of being very product-centric. A top priority for AMD was building great products"

It does seem like at times, companies get preoccupied with marketing, targeting segments, and ecosystem synergy and don't work that hard on building the great products that would practically sell themselves. Hopefully the guy that wrote that about AMD, recognizes the value of Intel doing the same.
I'll add my observation - Intel has been a juggernaut, but rather inflexible. Their attempts to penetrate markets outside of their primary focus do not meet with initial success, and Intel seems more content to retreat when facing opposition on new things. There seems to be a focus on the "Intel Way" that has prevented them from quickly adapting to changing environments.

AMD, being desperate, was more than willing to follow Lisa Su's direction, and has been able to take different approaches to gain market and mind share. I'm thinking specifically of their custom and semi-custom business.

Now, I am going off impressions, rather than specific knowledge, so I could be off, but I feel that unless Intel realizes their monolithic corporate culture is at the root of their current problems, there will be much more pain on their side.
 

zamardii12

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Is AMD really a threat though? I haven't even considered an AMD product for at least a decade.
 

isp

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"AMD at a glance" lmao

Looks like an article to soothe investors.
 

Laowai

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Is AMD really a threat though? I haven't even considered an AMD product for at least a decade.
Depending on your specific use case, AMD may offer a superior product and/or greater value....or not.
I do find it a bit odd that you've not even considered AMD's recent offerings. Even if you choose something else in your final decision, refusing to consider options seems a bit off.
 

Inacurate

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Is AMD really a threat though? I haven't even considered an AMD product for at least a decade.
You haven't for the PC, but both the Xbox One and PS4 you own run on AMD, and the next generation of each console will also be AMD!

Intel knows exactly how important mindshare is, one of the biggest positive unquantifiable returns of the practices that eventually lead to a lawsuit against them.
 

juanrga

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I think they sat on their hands for too long and this is their rewards. Didn't listen to their customers. We asked for cores and they didn't listen. When they finally listened, the value wasn't there for some of their customers because the competition delivered at a much lower price point.
Intel planned to increase to core count from 4 to 8 for mainstream... back in 2015 (before Zen tapeout). Then the 10nm fiasco forced them to cancel the whole roadmap, the tick-tock strategy, and return to the draw board.

That is why Kabylake was 4-core on 14nm+.

Competition delivered at a much lower price point because their design was much cheaper and simple.

Finally It is AMD which offered 4-core APUs at Bulldozer era and continues offering 4-core APUs today.
 

juanrga

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AMD, being desperate, was more than willing to follow Lisa Su's direction, and has been able to take different approaches to gain market and mind share. I'm thinking specifically of their custom and semi-custom business.
She is capitalizing on the work made by her predecessor. And the only reason why AMD has made a 'comeback' is Intel 10nm fiasco: e.g., 8-core Zen did launch against 4-core Kabylake instead against 10nm 8-core Cannonlake.
 

Snowdog

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I'll add my observation - Intel has been a juggernaut, but rather inflexible. Their attempts to penetrate markets outside of their primary focus do not meet with initial success, and Intel seems more content to retreat when facing opposition on new things. There seems to be a focus on the "Intel Way" that has prevented them from quickly adapting to changing environments.
I agree.

Also: Success and easy money makes you fat and lazy, while failure teaches you lessons and makes you lean and hungry. In the decade before Ryzen, Intel got fat and lazy, and AMD learned a lot of lessons, while getting lean.

Now AMD is tasting success, but is still lean and hungry.
 

Snowdog

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Is AMD really a threat though? I haven't even considered an AMD product for at least a decade.
Intel outlines their greatest threat areas: Servers and Desktop enthusiast market.

AMD is making inroads in servers, but it is already dominating the desktop enthusiast market since Ryzen 2000. Intel looks like they are planning to do nothing in the short term, so expect that domination to expand with Ryzen 3000.
 

zamardii12

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Depending on your specific use case, AMD may offer a superior product and/or greater value....or not.
I do find it a bit odd that you've not even considered AMD's recent offerings. Even if you choose something else in your final decision, refusing to consider options seems a bit off.
It's not that I didn't consider them, but rather I only build PCs ever 3-5 years for myself so when I built my latest rig this year I didn't see any benefit in real-world gaming (my primary use of my PC) with AMD CPUs. Also not to mention Nvidia GPUs have been far superior for quite some time. Last AMD card I bought was a HD6970 which I actually still run in my media center PC in the living room and still runs games quite well. The last AMD CPU I had was a Athlon 64.
 

Laowai

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Is AMD really a threat though? I haven't even considered an AMD product for at least a decade.
It's not that I didn't consider them, but rather I only build PCs ever 3-5 years for myself so when I built my latest rig this year I didn't see any benefit in real-world gaming (my primary use of my PC) with AMD CPUs. Also not to mention Nvidia GPUs have been far superior for quite some time. Last AMD card I bought was a HD6970 which I actually still run in my media center PC in the living room and still runs games quite well. The last AMD CPU I had was a Athlon 64.
Fair enough.
 

Grimlaking

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That was a fun document to scan through. You can read in that Intel is threatened. To me this sounds a LOT like how AMD talks about Nvidia. "They have the faster video cards but our market segmentation lets us lead the way in mid to low range video cards and access a wider segment of the user base."

Every company wants the performance crown for their product. That's why there are Halo cars. Every market has the leaders and those are the ones with the best performance. The others are considered followers even if they have 85%+ of the market.
 

rudy

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A few thoughts I have on this internal article:
  • Overall it is surprisingly fair for a document that is supposed to rally the troops. You'd expect it to be more biased. There are some things I disagree with though.
  • Firstly, what jumps out at me is the glaring omission of mentioning Intels 10nm process woes as a very large part of why Intel find themselves in this position. Maybe there was someone or a group of people in the organization they didn't want to offend, or point the finger at?
  • They correctly point out that AMD will have the advantage in HEDT applications, but claim that they expect Intel will retain leadership on lightly threaded workloads and gaming. I think this is a pretty good educated guess. Intel's top clocked chips will likely retain the single threaded leadership which is very important in games in most cases. What I think they are intentionally not stating here is that AMD won't be far behind, and in certain price matchups may even lead in this metric. (the 3600 seems hard to beat at the price, even with INtel's rumored price cuts). I suspect that even where Ryzen 3000 chips are behind in single threaded metrics, it will be to the point where the small difference is barely relevant at all.
  • I'm really surprised this document is even necessary. If you work in an industry, you'd think you would be up to speed with what is going on in that industry.

I'm not usually a big fan of Intels. I own their products, but have often been a huge critic of their business practices. Because of this I was a little surprised to see how rational and fair minded this internal analysis was. Maybe the company which over its history time and time again has been happy to use borderline unethical and litigious business practices to maintain their competitive position is changing into a nicer gentler, more fair Intel? Time will tell I guess.
That's because you see the marketing hype directed at the consumer. Just because a company has a certain front they put on to the consumers doesn't mean that is how they operate internally. For instance, Steve jobs seemed like a nice guy externally, internally he was the spawn of satan and toxic as hell if you worked for him or were a family member.
 

cageymaru

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Intel planned to increase to core count from 4 to 8 for mainstream... back in 2015 (before Zen tapeout). Then the 10nm fiasco forced them to cancel the whole roadmap, the tick-tock strategy, and return to the draw board.

That is why Kabylake was 4-core on 14nm+.

Competition delivered at a much lower price point because their design was much cheaper and simple.

Finally It is AMD which offered 4-core APUs at Bulldozer era and continues offering 4-core APUs today.
Enthusiasts can buy a 6C/12T Ryzen 1600 for $80. Competition is great! Intel needs to be more nimble in their strategies.
https://hardforum.com/threads/amd-ryzen-1600-six-core-3-2-ghz-cpu-is-99-99.1983362/
 
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