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Intel Thought Police Strike NEC

Intel Thought Police Strike NEC

So Insight 64 consultant Nathan Brookwood was running this panel of industry folks that he had assembled to talk about the future of 64-bit computing at the Platforms conference back in July, when, during the discussion, Leonard Tsai, NEC's chief technologist and, according to Brookwood, an architect of NEC's 16-way, now 32-way, Itanium AzuzA machines, happened to say that he found the Itanium so complex to program that he wasn't sure he was going to live long enough to figure it out and that the complexity of the EPIC architecture would delay the chip's wide adoption.

And, yes, well, he also happened to say something about, um, Intel "bullying" NEC into using the Itanium chip.

Well, Brookwood sucked air in between his teeth and one of the scribblers in the room diligently wrote down Tsai's remarks and put it in a story that Intel Enterprise Server Group VP and general manager Mike Fister read. And Fister then felt compelled to get in touch with NEC Solutions deputy president Kazuhiko Kobayashi and say something along the lines of "We thought you were our friend" and that's how Tsai came to loose his job.

We thought it a nice touch that word of Tsai's termination is now out and about as a warning to other free-thinking scientists.

Fister's position is that Tsai's opinions don't represent NEC's opinions.

NEC, for its part, is saying that Tsai worked primarily on desktop machines.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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