Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 30th Jun 2005 12:27 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems There are increasing rumors that Alpha might be brought back to life. The Inq sets the big 'if' aside and explores the possiblities: "What if there really is a will to get Alpha back into the changed market? What sort of chip would it have to be to have that good chance of success, if any?"
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Alpha vs other RISC
by nimble on Thu 30th Jun 2005 14:46 UTC

The alpha instruction set was specially designed with the avoidance of synchronization points and congested resources like for example flag bits in mind.

PowerPC doesn't have flag bits. ARM has them but makes good use of them for conditional execution of instructions (thus avoiding branches).

And in any case, renaming can eliminate any false dependencies on flags.

The handling of system level instructions was very elegant

What, the microcode feature? And you're saying those system level instructions make a significant difference in either speed or size?

memory addressing modes of the 386

Seems you've quickly run out of arguments. I wasn't talking about the 386, but about your baseless claim that the Alpha instruction set is much better than that of other RISC architecures.

But while were at it: there's no point defending the multitude of x86 memory models, but powerful addressing modes have actually become an advantage. That's because they save code size and because transistor budgets have improved quicker than memory speed.