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Intel opens up its front side bus


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According to the Inquirer, the biggest news of the last Intel Developer Forum in Beijing was Intel is opening up its front side bus for 3rd party manufacturers. It means that you can put a non-Intel CPU into the CPU slot of a mother board with Intel chip set.

This is not a development platform, it is intended to be a fully functional device for production.

Read the full article here.


source: hup.hu

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Apart from thew good side it may have a bad side too:

20. But hang on, isn't TC illegal under antitrust law?


In the USA, maybe not. Intel has honed a `platform leadership' strategy, in which they lead industry efforts to develop technologies that will make the PC more useful, such as the PCI bus and USB. Their modus operandi is described in a book by Gawer and Cusumano. Intel sets up a consortium to share the development of the technology, has the founder members put some patents into the pot, publishes a standard, gets some momentum behind it, then licenses it to the industry on the condition that licensees in turn cross-license any interfering patents of their own, at zero cost, to all consortium members.


The positive view of this strategy was that Intel grew the overall market for PCs; the dark side was that they prevented any competitor achieving a dominant position in any technology that might have threatened their dominance of the PC hardware. Thus, Intel could not afford for IBM's microchannel bus to prevail, not just as a competing nexus of the PC platform but also because IBM had no interest in providing the bandwidth needed for the PC to compete with high-end systems. The effect in strategic terms is somewhat similar to the old Roman practice of demolishing all dwellings and cutting down all trees close to their roads or their castles. No competing structure may be allowed near Intel's platform; it must all be levelled into a commons. But a nice, orderly, well-regulated commons: interfaces should be `open but not free'.


This consortium approach has evolved into a highly effective way of skirting antitrust law. So far, the FTC and the Department of Justice do not seem to have been worried about such consortia - so long as the standards are open and accessible to all companies. They may need to become slightly more sophisticated.


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