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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Re: Exposing VLIW
by Nicholas Blachford on Tue 12th Feb 2002 22:50 UTC

I liked the Russians approach to this problem, they have a fast VLIW core but not exposing it means you have to perform code translation and this slows you down. However if you do expose the internals you are left with an architecture which is very hard to change as it will break compatibility (it is hard to make big changes to Itanium).

The Russians have a very clever way of solving this which is to break the problem in two. You ship a binary based on instruction set A (which is a hardware independant list of instructions) then you recompile this into instruction set B which is specific to the CPU. You only recompile once so it could be done when installing but you end up with an optimised binary for the specific CPU and no need for so much complexity in the hardware - so it's faster also.

As for Transmeta using x86-64, They already have a license:,,51_104_543~1...

In other news, in a timely announcement, SGI backed up my story :-)

P.S. There is one correction to the original article:
It was Nick Tredennick of Microprocessr Report who thought up "Itanic", not The Register.