Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 21:20 UTC
Intel More than a decade ago, Intel ran into an issue trying to deliver what was to be the world's top-ranked supercomputer: it looked possible that its new Pentium Pro processors at the heart of the system might not arrive in time. As a result, the chipmaker made an unusual move by paying Hewlett-Packard $100,000 to evaluate building the system using its PA-RISC processors in the machine, said Paul Prince, now Dell's chief technology officer for enterprise products but then Intel's system architect for the supercomputer. Called ASCI Red and housed at Sandia National Laboratories, it was designed to be the first supercomputer to cross the threshold of a trillion math calculations per second.
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RE: Comment by kaiwai
by neticspace on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 02:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

Given what a lemon Itanium is; the original aim was for it to become a general purpose processor to replace Xeon so that it could compete with the UNIX world, I wonder whether PA-RISC would have been a better architecture to go for instead of Itanium.

I also wonder what it would have been like if Intel sprinkled PA-RISC with its power saving magic and what it would be like in a laptop ;)


Just a simple question. What is the exact relationship between Itanium and PA-RISC?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 03:23 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a simple question. What is the exact relationship between Itanium and PA-RISC?


Itanium started off initially as a project by HP as a successor to PA-RISC, hence, there is from the start the design of a compatibility layer so that people can run PA-RISC binaries on Itanium unmodified.

The problem with Itanium is that it placed far too much hope in the skill of compiler engineers to create a compiler that can handle all the things which HP thought should be pushed back as a matter of software compiling rather than at runtime. The net result has been what we've seen today a lacklustre CPU performance which seems to be more of a by-product of university theory rather than business practicality.

Btw, this isn't the first time a VLIW-like processor has been attempted; its one of those ideas that came out of the engineering academia when it should have stayed there. Nice on the blackboard when teaching kids but reality is that it throws out reality in favour of the perfect set of scenarios.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by tylerdurden on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 23:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

There are plenty of VLIW processors out there, esp in the GPU/DSP/embedded arena. Careful when making such statements regarding VLIW as a viable idea.

Edited 2009-09-24 00:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1