Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Jan 2006 16:58 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Yesterday, we reported on an article about the demise of the Alpha. That article was the first part in a series about the future of processor design. Today, part II has been published: "In terms of the architecture itself, AMD's Athlon 64 platform, at the stage it is at right now, does not offer that much of a performance advantage, and AMD should not be resting on its laurels. This is because on the desktop, interconnects as such play less of a role. It's on servers and multi-processing systems that you can take advantage of scaling, and that's where interconnects such as HyperTransport have a role. But when you talk about a single-chip desktop system, whether it's one, two or four cores, the efficiency of the chipset still plays a very important role."
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RE[2]: Arrogant Article
by edwdig on Wed 25th Jan 2006 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Arrogant Article"
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I disagree: x86 is bad, and little crufty is understating: compare SSE vs Altivec for example.

SSE wasn't that great, but SSE2 and SSE3 are pretty good. AltiVec seems to be slightly faster, but SSE3 is more flexible in both operations and datatypes.

From ease-of-use point of view: its use of low-endian makes hard to read hex dump of memory, low number of register, not-orthogonal ISA...

Big endian makes it easier to stare at a random memory dump and figure out what's going on. Little endian makes code simplier as it makes it simplier to do things like treating an int as a short or a char. It's not something you'd directly notice unless you program in assembly, but it does tend to result in smaller code.

x86 instruction density can be matched by RISCs as ARM's Thumb2 have shown (Thumb had a performance impact, I don't know if it's still the case with Thumb2).

I don't know anything about Thumb2, but Thumb certainly sucked. The only time it made any sense was if your hardware couldn't provide a 32 bit memory interface, and even then you were still better off using ARM for certain things.

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