Linked by Nicholas Blachford on Sun 10th Feb 2002 17:37 UTC
Editorial "This will end up being one of the world's worst investments, I'm afraid," - David House, former Intel chief of corporate strategy said in the early 1990s. I've been fasinated by microprocessors for years and have been following the Merced debacle since back in 1994 when HP and Intel announced they were getting together to make some amazing new technology.
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Compaq make boxes
by Jon on Mon 11th Feb 2002 03:27 UTC

Compaq have dropped the Alpha for one simple reason, they understand making boxes, not cpu's.
For all of DEC's marketing stupidity they understood how to build cpu's. Compaq bought DEC for their box production, and things like Alpha were an unwanted bonus.
As soon as Compaq was given the opportunity to get rid of those things it just couldnt cope with it did.


As far as exposing the RISC core of x86 cpu's, its not as wasy as you'd like. Remember that CISC processors used to have little ROM's ( microcode ) that actually controlled the internal working of the cpu, with even more basic instructions than what you find RISC ISA's.
Saying they are RISC cores is a misnomer, they are an application of techniques first developed in RISC cpu's to a CISC cpu, and the internal instructions reflect that.

If you are really interested then try to dig up some docs on the NexGen 5x86, which let programs run in RISC mode. You might even be able to find a motherboard based on one of these chips, and do some programming.