Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 21:54 UTC
Intel The Intel Developer Forum is currently in full swing, but it kicked off with a speech by Intel CEO Paul Otellini. Well, there's bad news for those of us who long for a time where lots of different architectures compete with one another, ensuring that technology is moved forward. Otellini's plans for Intel basically come down to one thing: x86 everywhere.
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I once read an analysis by a chip hardware guy, why the x86 architecture refuses to die.

His argument was like this: RISC-like architectures need no die space for that translation layer, but more instructions have to be stored in cache.

This is only true if you compare the best CISC with the worst RISC (in terms of code density), say Motorola 86K against MIPS. Modern x86 code is not really very compact. ARM with the Thumb2 ISA has, generally, much better code density than x86. Sure, you can find examples of a single x86 instruction that needs a sequence of ARM instructions, but the converse is also true, but that is really besides the point: You need to look at the average code density over a large set of programs.

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