With revision 40 of the Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manual (SDM) just published, we are pleased to announce that paper versions of the SDM are now available via a print-on-demand fulfillment model (see links below) through a 3rd-party vendor.
The print-on-demand model of hard copy fulfillment of SDM provides several advantages over the previous bulk-printing operation:
1. We expect the new model can sustain itself indefinitely as it no longer relies on long-range budget forecasting and unpredictable funding supply. Bulk printing requires substantial budget for printing, warehousing, and ancillary costs associated with either shipping or governmental regulations. Three years ago, the funding source dried up, and the operation went into hibernation.
2. We expect print-on-demand orders are generally fulfilled by the same up-to-date version as available on the web. Web updates of the SDM are approximated on a quarterly cadence. When we did bulk printing, the lag between shipping out the final master and receiving truckload of stock into the warehouse was taking up to 3 months.
We want to acknowledge that the unit cost of print-on-demand to purchaser is higher than bulk printing, and our publishing operation will do as much as we can to help our hard copy customer get the most mileage out of their purchases. There are a few things related to that aspect:
a. We implemented a 7-volume partition due to the physical page-count constraint required by the print service vendor. Currently that constraint sits at 740 pages.
b. The order price of each volume is set by the print vendor (as the vendor is a for-profit entity). Intel uploads the finalized master with zero royalty.
c. Considering (i) the frequent update schedule of web versions, (ii) often large updates may concentrate on a subset of the 7 volumes and occur at a slower pace than the quarterly updates; we did some chapter level re-organization. The objective is to facilitate hard copy SDM users who wishes to keep up on the subject matters of his/her interest to only need infrequent re-order of selected volume(s), instead of ordering 7 volumes repeatedly.
For example, readers whose primary hard copy resources are instruction reference pages can focus on Volumes 2A and 2B; the virtualization audience can focus on Volume 3C; a performance monitoring tool developer may focus on volume 3B, etc.
d. Our initial vendor of print-on-demand will be www.lulu.com. In our limited experience as a customer there, we find there are material advantages to being on their mailing list. We typically receive a few email promotions each month, ranging from xx% site wide sale to free-shipping offers. So that may be of interest to hard copy readers.
In the new fulfillment model, the 7-volume PDF set of the SDM is available for purchase at the links below*. In the future, several other IA manuals (e.g. Software Optimization Manual) will be available throughthe same3rd-party print-on-demand vendor.
*NOTE: Due to manual restructuring, please download the file and review prior to purchasing to ensure you are ordering the volume(s) with information you are interested in.
Volume 1 Basic Architecture: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Volume 2A Instruction Set Reference A-L: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Volume 2B Instruction Set Reference M-Z: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Volume 2C Instruction Set Reference: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Volume 3A System Programming Guide, Part 1: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Volume 3B System Programming Guide, Part 2: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Volume 3C System Programming Guide, Part 3: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/intel%c2%ae-64-and-ia-32-architectures-software-developers-man...
Thank you for your inputs and your interest in a hardbound option.
Since we resumed softbound print-on-demand fulfillment model, the ship-out data we have from the vendor indicates there is a constant but small volume of demand with each revision. Regardless of the demand volume, it does not change our commitment to continue the softbound availability.
At the same time, we are pursuing operational improvement that can lower the cost on the user side. The factor that has room for optimization is page count, as we had chosen zero royalty from the beginning. So we are in the process of adjusting our production to use a slightly larger format to reduce the page count.
A second factor that can affect users in certain geography is the cost of oversea shipment, which we don't have direct control. From our understanding, the current vendor's physical printer facilities are located in US, Canada, France, UK, and Australia. So, some of the historically largest consumption markets like China, Brazil, India would bear higher shipping costs on top of the merchandise cost. We are willing to investigate the feasibility of expanding the print-on-demand fulfillment model into locally-supplied distribution if available. We welcome referral information about local print-on-demand vendors for us to investigate, along with cost estimate of oversea shipment given by current supplier. Please direct your feedback of current cost and local print-on-demand supplier referral to "email@example.com" with subject heading "local print-on-demand referral".
In terms of whether to initiate hard-bound options, we like to see more data before making a decision.
The most important factor to sway our decision is user demand. Based on our soft-bound data and considering the cost-delta, release frequency, other logistic obstacles. I feel it is more prudent to defer a decision. Intel SDM readers who wish to see the availability of hardbound options can direct feedback to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with the subject heading "hardbound SDM" and provide information on the limit of acceptable cost increase of a hardbound volume.