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I think the problem is that they believe they "squandered" supplying the iPhone CPU. They stated that mobile CPUs would never sell in quantity, so they weren't interested. Missing that boat, they've believed the need to be in front of mobile at any cost.

I think Intel failed to realize that they had made the right call with iPhone: their very culture isn't about being innovative, but providing microcode flexibility at high instructions/watt. They had a chance to define servers, and still do. They should have been all over the whole spectre/meltdown/timing security issues and owned creating a secure server chip. Instead, they've fretted away so many options that they never had a chance to win.

My two cents.

Intel owned a big slice of the embedded ecosystem well into the 90's. They threw that all away to focus on high margin Pentiums.

it seems like a regular business error ..

How did they fret away options with Meltdown?

The "cloud" as we know it rely heavily on CPU's hardware security and their virtualization technologies to enable untrusted computation from users.

CPU security is actually one of the few topic Intel is extremely good at (don't trust the RISC/CISC flamewar) and could define the way cloud providers are built upon.

SGX in particular had revolutionary potential.. Galen Hunt's Haven project showed remotely-attested, encrypted Drawbridge containers executing arbitrary Windows programs within secure enclaves... But then Meltdown and Spectre doomed SGX to side-channel attack. I don't think Intel is even making an attempt to salvage the instruction set...

What do you mean with salvaging the instruction set? Since I wouldn't count SGX a part of the instruction set and spectre/meltdown are not IA specific.

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