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Marchitecture (or Marketecture) is a made-up word by Martin Northend; it is a portmanteau of the words marketing and architecture. The term is applied to any form of electronic architecture[clarification needed] perceived to have been produced purely for marketing reasons. It may be used by a vendor to place itself in such a way as to promote all their strongest abilities whilst simultaneously masking their weaknesses.

For example, some may argue[who?] that nVidia's resurrection of its 3Dfx's original SLI implementation is "marchitecture" as it was brought back solely to combat ATi's X8XX series of cards and as a promoted "upgrade path" for their motherboards, contributing little directly to their bottom line[citation needed].

Another example may be Intel's Pentium 4. It has been argued[who?] that the processor series' reliance on high clock speeds is a deliberate attempt to make it appear faster to the uninformed consumer than the slower-clocked AMD Athlon series of processors, its main competitor. AMD later responded to this with a marketing campaign to dispel the 'megahertz myth' and adopted a scheme to denote the relative performance of its processors that avoided reference to its clock speed.

For more detailed information about the term 'marchitecture' see this article (updated 30 June 2003).

Another sense in which the term Marketecture is used is in the context of an abstract description of a complex system, such as a distributed software system, for the purpose of discussion and analysis. As Ian Gorton points out in his book, Essential Software Architecture, page 6,

[A marketecture] is one page, typically informal depiction of the system's structure and interactions. It shows the major components, their relationships and has a few well chosen labels and text boxes that portray the design philosophies embodied in the architecture. A marketecture is an excellent vehicle for facilitating discussion by stakeholders during design, build, review, and of course the sales process. It's easy to understand and explain, and serves as a starting point for deeper analysis.

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