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Main Event or Non-Event?

I had a nice talk with one of my favorite chip companies the other day. Two chip companies, in fact. Seems they’d developed some sort of new product and wanted to tell me about it. Okay. Sounds fun. Sign me up.

Except that the chip they described was already four years old.

Confused, I asked, “Uh, so what’s the news here? What are we announcing?”

“It’s our differentiating joint collaboration” was the answer. That set off all kinds of mental alarms. Warning: buzzword alert! Marketing hype incoming!

It seems that what the two companies had actually done was make Company A’s chip work better with Company B’s chip. Neither chip was new, and admittedly many engineers had used them together already. Nevertheless, both companies felt there was room for improvement.

On one hand, I felt like this was a non-event. Neither company had produced a new chip, or even much new software, so there was no “product” in the usual sense.

On the other hand, both sides had expended some real ergs in making the integration of the two chips go more smoothly, and that ought to be worth something. Even if we don’t know what problem(s) they were solving, they seem confident they’ve smoothed the path for us, and that deserves some credit.

What’s your view? Is this just marketing hand-waving or have these guys provided a real service?

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