* Posts by Greg 38

24 posts • joined 28 Jan 2011

Intel plunking down $20bn for at least two chip factories in Ohio

Greg 38

Re: It is all about the taxes

The Oregon fabs are R&D with low scale production ramp up to about 2000 wafer starts per week when worked there. The fabs in Arizona, Ireland, Israel and new Mexico were for the volume production

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.11, says it's so good your significant other wants you to test it on Valentine's Day

Greg 38

Just keep the fixed things fixed and Linus can shove his complaints up his sweary backside

I for one and tired of Linus' over the top histrionics about careless developers crossing some imaginary line in imaginary head when he can't keep his own garden free of weeds. For FRICKIN YEARS I have dealt with the SND_HDA_INTEL module get screwed up during suspend and needing to do the "horror of linux horrors", reboot the computer to resolve it. It would be fixed with one kernel update and then screwed up yet again with the next. I've got a few choice and sweary words along with two big, fat fingers for him if Linus can't manage to keep fixes in place during kernel updates.

Intel sues former staffer for allegedly stealing Xeon cloud secrets in USB drives and exploiting info at Microsoft

Greg 38

Re: Air gapped espionage

The software used to access and view the controlled documents placed water marks across the screen of "Intel Top Secret" and such along with your username + IP address. It won't stop you from taking a photo, but any photo would pinpoint back to you.

Greg 38

Re: A bit of an Intel fail

I can attest that Intel does indeed wall the garden much tighter after you give notice. I worked in the Oregon development fab 11 yrs ago before moving on. At least in the fab, most employees who gave notice would be escorted to the door and have their cube packed up & shipped to them, especially if they were going to work for any company deemed a competitor. I wasn't going to any such company so I was allowed to linger and tie things up for the couple weeks. However, my email was restricted to outgoing only and the fab badge was collected. It was like sort of like being a ghost.

The Linux box that runs the exec carpark gate is down! A chance for PostgreSQL Man to show his quality

Greg 38

Similar tale

At a former company I'd worked, maintenance turned off the wrong machine when attempting to perform some routine work. The unfortunate machine was a 20yr old Applied Materials etcher used in chip making. When they realized the mistake and turned it back on, it wouldn't boot. The company's contract with Applied had been allowed to lapse and along with that all the detailed knowledge of coaxing the beast through troubling computer issues. A contractor had to be brought in and ended up replacing the floppy drive with a SD card reader and card formatted to look like a 1.44Mb floppy disk imaged with the boot files. After 2 weeks of reconfiguring the machine, it was back up again and the company out many $100k.

Going underground with Scaleway's Apple M1-as-a-Service: Mac Minis descend into Paris nuclear bunker

Greg 38

Re: But... why?!?

Ok, thanks for answering. That's much more helpful than those chaps who thumbs-downed a serious question.

Greg 38

But... why?!?

"Scaleway is running a farm of Apple M1 Mac Minis..."

Apologies for the dense question, but why would anyone want this service? App development? Compiling binaries? If you can vnc or ssh into the server farm, then you clearly have a computer already and one that is likely better than any m1 mac mini. These units are not exactly speed demons with only 8gb ram / 256gb ssd.

I'm sure there's an obvious purpose for this service. Next round is on me.

Intel CEO Bob Swan is stepping down to be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

Greg 38

Years in the making

Swan is taking the fall for the manufacturing issues at Intel. However, the development cycle from Rev99 base initial process to a production process rolled out to Intel's "virtual factory" runs about 4 years at the minimum. I know because I worked there.

There are more fundamental problems with the development team and Intel's divisional cpu architecture. These have not been addressed by the head swapping.

Third time's still the charm: AMD touts Zen-3-based Ryzen 5000 line, says it will 'deliver absolute leadership in x86'

Greg 38

Re: ...their naming is very much clearer than the mess that is Intel’s.

Yes, it is intentionally to confuse the consumer. I'm a former fab engineer at Intel's development site in Oregon (10 yrs ago). I asked one of the product engineers about the convoluted naming system at the time. He confirmed it was intentional as a means of focusing on the "core2" name and away from the raw MHz that had been the previous convention.

Microsoft submits Linux kernel patches for a 'complete virtualization stack' with Linux and Hyper-V

Greg 38

Still don't trust them

I'm not trusting M$oft not to *fork* up linux. Didn't trust IBM either.

Intel talks up its 10nm Tiger Lake laptop system-on-chips as though everything is going according to plan

Greg 38

20 metal layers!

If I counted the layers on their sketch correctly, there are like 20 metal layers on these chips. That's a boatload of deposition, polish, via litho and etch, metal litho and etch, ALD dep at lower metal layers, copper electroplate at higher metal layers and polish again. With each step introducing defects. Hats off to getting a manufacturable process.

Tesla sued over Tokyo biker's death in 'dozing driver' Autopilot crash

Greg 38

Darwin at work

"Tragically, an Apple engineer was killed in the same year when his Tesla Model X accelerated into a roadside crash barrier."

No, not tragically. This is Darwin thinning the herd of those who blindly bet their life that every possible scenario has been preconceived, properly programmed, and correctly implemented with fully functioning sensors. Honestly, assuming ALL possible scenarios can be programmed into the software to allow autonomous driving is the definition of hubris. Of all people, this Apple engineer should have known better. And as an engineer myself, sorry, I'm not trusting my life or my family's to the rest of the lot.

Come to Five Guys, where the software is as fresh as the burgers... or maybe not

Greg 38

Slightly off-topic

Reminds me of when I worked in the fab at Intel. Some of the operators were found to be playing solitaire on one of the optical character reader tools intended for reading the wafer serial numbers and orienting the wafers. The machines were running some flavor win98se or NT. Management then had all the games removed from every Windows machine across every fab. Note that this is the same management that didn't allow clocks in the fab either!

Space Force is go, go, go! Because we have a child as President of the United States

Greg 38

Does the snark cost extra or does it come with the article?

Good job Reg at taking an interesting news-worthy article and folding snark, animus, and personal bias throughout it. Is this an audition piece for your next gig at the DailyMail?

'Bulls%^t! Complete bull$h*t!' Reset the clock on the last time woke Linus Torvalds exploded at a Linux kernel dev

Greg 38

Time for a pint

Hey, I just saw an article about Linus going all blinking Linus on someone and I grabbed a bag of crisps and a pint to read it. I guess I'm a sucker for this sort of entertainment.

Super Cali optimistic right-to-repair's negotious, even though Apple thought it was something quite atrocious

Greg 38

Re: Next on the list

Umm, I buy DIY oil, air, fuel and plug change kits for my JD tractor and mower every year from a JD retailer. Also have bought two DIY bearing kits for my mower deck and front wheel.

Having swallowed its pride and started again with 10nm chips, Intel teases features in these 2019-ish processors

Greg 38

Re: Not what Intel has been saying for the past several years

Have you met the PTD development arm at Intel? Arrogance is equally matched by stubbornness

Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

Greg 38

Re: This suggest performance problems rather than yield issues

Looking at the CPU lineup, it looks like the 2-core Cannon Lake line of chips is essentially a shrink of the 2-core Kaby Lake line. They would be designed as a dual-core chip only with the 4-core version using a completely different mask set and be a completely separate product.

Intel scraps wafers or lots with excessively high defect levels because it is likely the "good" die that didn't fail are actually marginal and will fail at a much higher rate. Basic Q&R. The die testing hasn't been functional for 15 years and is based on test patterns.

I suspect they will continue to resolve the manufacturing issues. Intel runs with 2 concurrent development teams, one that works on the current node (10nm) and the other working on the next (7nm). Process improvements developed under the 7nm node could certainly be ported backwards if it makes sense.

Greg 38

This suggest performance problems rather than yield issues

I used to work at Intel's development fab. This middling chip release reminds me of the problems they had when transitioning to the Pentium-4 90nm (Willamette chip) process that was the first to used EPI for strained PMOS performance. In that case, the PMOS leaked current like a sieve and they couldn't keep the chip in the spec'd power envelope. They had to back off the poly gate CD to drop the power consumption but that hurt performance and made the chips only usable for the entry level devices.

With the cost of developing a new process, it is certainly desired to have the new chip come in for the performance segment where the profit is the highest. These i3 chips are commodities and not terribly profitable.

Taiwanese cops give malware-laden USB sticks as prizes for security quiz

Greg 38

Re: "...those that just shoved [the USB stick] into their computers..."

"There's not much else that one can do with a USB Stick besides shoving it into a computer... "

8GB?!

Baldrick: It's a bit of a tiddler, ain't it?

Black Adder: Yes, but size isn't important. It's not what you've got, it's where you stick it.

Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

Greg 38

Even grandma is using linux now

I set up my mom with Ubuntu and she's been running it for the last 10 years. When she had to recently use Windows 7 for a couple classes, she couldn't wait to get back to linux. Even she commented how much more stable it is. That really speaks volumes for how easy linux can be to use. I plan to set her up with Mint next.

That one weird trick fails: Google binned 780 million ads last year

Greg 38

Re: So they're cracking down on some scumbags...

"a cult designed to extract money from people"

You referring to Apple?

Sci/tech doctorate protects you from unemployment – in the US

Greg 38

Part of the unlucky 1%

I've been essentially unemployed (< 1/4 time employed) for the last 18 months, in spite of my PhD in electrical engineering. Guess I picked an inopportune time to quit and relocate to the midwest!

The difficulty I have encountered has been with trying to break into a new field in this economy and job market. While I have over 8 years of semiconductor manufacturing experience, this seems to count for little when applying for an engineering position in a different manufacturing area. Employers are demanding very specific experience in their own manufacturing field and the extensive job pool is able to supply it.

In addition, employers are reluctant to hire. Though I was chosen as the top candidate for a position following a lengthy interview process, the company's management indefinitely froze hiring.

Having a doctorate may better insulate a worker from being sacked or made redundant, but it doesn't necessarily improve the chances of obtaining a position.

Cheers

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