Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Oct 2006 20:13 UTC
AMD "AMD described its forthcoming quad-core processor, codenamed Barcelona, in a session at today's Microprocessor Forum. Details of the new microarchitecture on which the processor is based (codenamed K8L) have been known for some time now. Still, the event brought some new info, and here are some highlights that I've culled from some of the reporting on it."
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64bit and more cores please!
by bnolsen on Thu 12th Oct 2006 14:53 UTC
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Ugh, 32bit is a huge headache. In many cases going to 64bit can allow simplification of operating systems and software. With 32 bit there's always this possibility that a process *might* blow out the 4GB virtual address space you are stuck with.

(one good example, how many digital camera photos you have? What if I decided to write software that just mapped all your photos to virtual address space? Oh sorry, that doesn't work on 32 bit!)

With more cores, the power is there when you need it. As someone mentioned, things could start to happen in the background without the user knowing it. If what's in their face that they're working on runs with one processor, then you can use the other one (or however many) to do other stuff.

(Or then again, what about that whole bunch of digital photos sitting on disk? Might be nice to thumbnail them a bit faster since they're directly addressed in virtual memory and now the io throughput is substantially higher...)

As long as the new stuff is still cheap, I welcome it. Now time to get rid of this old trashy instruction set based on the old 8086 and get one that doesn't need to suck up die space & power just to decode it into something useable! The space saved from the instruction decoders can go into more cores!

Disclaimer: I've been working with 64bit linux now for almost 3 years, where I worked before we had deployed it live on a 24/7 fully website shortly after.

Edited 2006-10-12 15:08

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