Microprocessor wars, episode 6

When last we left young Luke ClusterDesigner, he was pondering whether or not to use one or the other vendors chips in the latest system they were to bid to customers for an RFP. Alas, along came one (then two) chip vendors offering “marketing support” (wink wink nudge nudge, say no more!) to young Luke. The farce was indeed strong with young Luke as he applied that “marketing support” to effectively reduce the cost of the processors he put into the cluster, thus decreasing the cost of the cluster for them to build.

Anticompetitive? Yeah. Sure.

Fair? No. Not all resellers will pay the same effective price. Might strictly adhere to the letter of the law, but certainly not the intent.

Such is life in the world of clusters and HPC.

The FTC seems to care about this in large part due to the AMD lawsuit against Intel. Some side effects of using the courts to effect change when you can’t in the market.

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