Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Aug 2005 16:46 UTC, submitted by Nicholas Blachford
Intel "At next week's Intel developer forum, the firm is due to announce a next generation x86 processor core. The current speculation is this new core is going too be based on one of the existing Pentium M cores. I think it's going to be something completely different."
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by on Sat 20th Aug 2005 10:59 UTC

Member since:

I know the idea I'm reitterating here is most certainly going to turn out to be completely incorrect, but does anyone think it could be possible that Intel might be basing these new chips on a flavor of Itanium?

If you rip out the slow as molases in january hardware x86 emulator and about half the cache, these things could possibly be made to eat up less power. Software x86 emulators I've heard are pretty damned fast on Itanium (go figure), and who's to say that said chips couldn't use a thin layer of software to emulate x86-64 allowing one to use ordinary compilers on top of it?

If nothing else I'm guessing it'd at least be better than the crap AMD64 knock-off they are selling now that are based on the craptacular Pentium 4s...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmm
by Lazarus on Sat 20th Aug 2005 14:11 in reply to "Hmm"
Lazarus Member since:

In my uninformed opinion, I'd also imagine that Intel won't be using the Itanium core for these new chips, but in a way, I can see it making a strange sort of sense for them to do so.

They've poured billions of dollars into the development of a decent microprocessor architecture and one of the two largest reasons why it's a disaster is because of their own inability to market it effectively. I also remember reading something about software x86 emulators running x86 code quite a bit faster than the hardware one on the chips.

If they were to write such software that emulates AMD64 on top of it, then you wouldn't need to deal with the weirdness of the EPIC architecture in your own programs, as only the compatibilty layer would need to deal with the EPIC instruction set.

In addition to the fact that they've already got the things designed and in production, there would be some benefits to utilizing the Itanium. It's a true 64 bit chip (doesn't AMD 64 only have 48 bit memory addressing?), and it has the oh so helpful NX bit, unlike the Pentiums that I'm aware of. And like it says in the article, being based on something that for all intents and purposes is a VLIW instruction set like Transmeta's chip, it should be rather easy to emulate other instruction sets on top of it (Intel was talking about virtualization technologies weren't they? Well, whatever.).

Since I first heard of the Itanium, I've always liked alot of the ideas it incorporates, and were they to leverage it in the design of their next generation x64 chips, I can only see that as a win for both them, and for people who buy the things.

Again, all that said, I still don't see it happening.

Reply Parent Score: 1