Google, Apple, or a smart startup could disrupt Intel, which increasingly looks awkwardly poised as the world's largest maker of microprocessors.
That's the view of Dave Ditzel, a veteran microprocessor designer. I talked to him about the microprocessor landscape after an interview for his upcoming paper at Hot Chips.
Ditzel led Sparc designs at the former Sun Microsystems before founding his own startup, Transmeta, that designed an x86-compatible chip. Most recently, he spent a little time at Intel on a microprocessor design that apparently got the axe from Brian Krzanich, Intel's new CEO. So he's been around the block and has something of an underdog's perspective.
Google might undermine Intel's x86 in servers with its work with IBM on the OpenPower Consortium, Ditzel said, and he makes a good case. The search company could probably save a lot of money and maybe even gain some performance/watt advantages if it could come up with a custom Power design for its data centers.
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