Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 21:54 UTC
Intel The Intel Developer Forum is currently in full swing, but it kicked off with a speech by Intel CEO Paul Otellini. Well, there's bad news for those of us who long for a time where lots of different architectures compete with one another, ensuring that technology is moved forward. Otellini's plans for Intel basically come down to one thing: x86 everywhere.
Thread beginning with comment 385584
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
by Hiev on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 23:40 UTC
Member since:

Im im all down for it, x86 everywhere makes the life of the programmers a lot easier.

Reply Score: 0

RE: ...
by helf on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 00:08 in reply to "..."
helf Member since:

yeah, I'm all for it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: ...
by Zbigniew on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 01:19 in reply to "..."
Zbigniew Member since:

Some prefer easy life - some others: interesting life...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: ...
by nt_jerkface on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 04:52 in reply to "RE: ..."
nt_jerkface Member since:

Writing a play makes life interesting.

Transcribing a play from Russian to Chinese is a chore.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: ...
by jack_perry on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 01:32 in reply to "..."
jack_perry Member since:

PowerPC makes programmers' lives easier.

ARM everywhere makes programmers' lives easier.

68000 everywhere makes programmers' lives easier, and we'd all get back to programming as God intended to boot: in 32 bits. ;-)

This much is sure: x86 will not be everywhere anytime soon, at least as long as there are embedded systems.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by phoenix on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 15:51 in reply to "RE: ..."
phoenix Member since:

This much is sure: x86 will not be everywhere anytime soon, at least as long as there are embedded systems.

Aren't 80386 and 80486 still used quite a bit in the embedded and machine control industries?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by transputer_guy on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 21:22 in reply to "RE: ..."
transputer_guy Member since:

I was at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston yesterday, and indeedy Intel Atoms really were everywhere, but so too were ARMs and a tiny scattering of PICs and pretty much nothing else. (Found out the PIC32 is really a MIPs ISA though). PowerPC and 68K-Coldfire no show even though IBM and Freescale were there.

As much I prefer almost any other 32b architecture to x86, the Atom pretty much nails it in the important features in industrial embedded, low cost, low power, fanless operation, and tools from the desktop on same ISA.

The ARM is far bigger into deeply embedded ASICs, not sure if Atom will ever do that. So the embedded market splits exclusively between not so cheap ($100 several) miniITX/PC104/custom type Atom boards in tight fanless boxes, and ARMs buried deep inside the custom ASICs in very cost sensitive stuff.

For Intel to be truly everywhere, they would have to allow TSMC and others to add the Atom to their core library for any ASIC customer to use.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: ...
by Soulbender on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 07:13 in reply to "..."
Soulbender Member since:

x86 everywhere makes the life of the programmers a lot easier.

How so? Unless you're writing assembly code the CPU architecture doesn't matter that much anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: ...
by spiderman on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 09:48 in reply to "..."
spiderman Member since:

Even if you were coding in asm, you would not want to touch x86 asm. x86 is a mess and is not making the life of anyone easier. It's easier to learn 10 different clean architectures and not x86 than to learn x86.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: ...
by viton on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 15:46 in reply to "..."
viton Member since:

Im im all down for it, x86 everywhere makes the life of the programmers a lot easier.

Yeah that's the same phrase what Intel marketoids are like to wash the brains of the crowd.

Easier? How and what for?

How many different platforms you programmed for?
Learning a new platform is very interesting and boost your experience.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: x86 everywhere ?
by cade on Thu 24th Sep 2009 00:04 in reply to "..."
cade Member since:

Hiev mentioned ...

"... x86 everywhere makes the life of the programmers a lot easier."

This would be true for system programmers.
For application programmers (like myself), the CPU platform has little consequence in terms of producing code since we (the application programmers) can rely on "standard" libraries (POSIX, pthread, standard C library, standard C++ library,OpenGL, etc) that allows our domain-specific code to interface with any system (ie. a system that supports these "standard" libraries).

I deal with C++ software development on OpenSolaris (using free SunStudio tools). One of my in-house research projects is optimisation of rendering of massive landscapes on a planetary level using a high-performance (in-house developed) persistent object database as the data-store for the landscape detail. The core of this system deals with standard C,C++,OpenGL, POSIX, pthread libraries. Higher-level libraries have been built from this core. The graphics engine (G3D Innovation Engine) has some optional inline assembly but the absolute amount of assembly code is so small that any extra time required to maintain the assembly code is a minor issue. While my hardware platform is 64-bit AMD-x86, the same code-base could instantly be ported to the scalable processor architecture (SPARC) platform with the only source code change being the optional inline assembly.

It stands to reason that there would be much more application developers than system (kernel, OS, device driver, etc.) developers and so the "average" developer would probably be more "application"-driven that "sysdem"-driven.

I think it's foolish to promote the "x86 everywhere" fantasy since you have CPU platforms like SPARC with an "enterprise-ready" design goal that have traditionally contrast the design goals for x86 CPU. The enterprise-readiness, massive multi-threading ability, etc. of the SPARC platform has no use in the general home PC where the latter is the familiar and realistic territory of x86 platform.

Remember, Intel/AMD have used ideas from other platforms (e.g. DEC) to enhance the design of their CPUs.

How much creativity would exist if there was a monopoly ?

Edited 2009-09-24 00:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1