Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Mar 2010 13:00 UTC, submitted by Jim Lynch
General Development "With chip makers continuing to increase the number of cores they include on each new generation of their processors, perhaps it's time to rethink the basic architecture of today's operating systems, suggested Dave Probert, a kernel architect within the Windows core operating systems division at Microsoft."
Thread beginning with comment 414262
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Maybe chip makers should...
by Tuishimi on Fri 19th Mar 2010 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe chip makers should..."
Member since:

Think about it tho'... as the technology becomes more complex, miniaturization continues... why not? Why not give the hardware more intelligence, removing software layers that do the same?

Reply Parent Score: 2

siride Member since:

You missed the joke. The VAX had an instruction to calculate polynomials back in the late 70s/80s. It was the king of the CISC architecture model. CISC is now considered dead. Even Intel has moved away from the CISC approach. It's much easier for the hardware, and the software, to have simple instruction sets that can be executed efficiently than complex instruction sets that may or may not end up being useful, but waste a lot of die space and may cause a reduction in overall efficiency (just to be able to support the advanced instructions).

Remember also that it's easy to upgrade software. Not so much with hardware. The intelligence should be in the software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:

I did miss the joke. ;)

I agree and disagree. If something is so complex that it might change, or just the nature of the operation might change then I agree, it belongs in software. But if you can manage to move those eternal algorithms to the die then why not? Especially given the constant shrinking of the palette... sooner or later we will be cramming transistors into cellular sized spaces. If we have the ability to cram so much into so little space, would it really be wasting space to add functionality? Sure it could be in some form factors, but in general computing?

But I see your point. Faster, cleaner pipelines enable complex software to run faster. I just think at some point the trend will reverse itself and "smarter" hardware is going to make a comeback.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:

Do you remember when VMS was ported to the Alpha? Ho boy! There was some trouble. Customers who relied on the exceptional math computational speeds of the VAX were furious when they discovered that despite the faster Alpha chip, math algorithms took factors longer to compute because they (and that has to do with the word size moving from 32 to 64 bit size) were implemented in software, not the hardware.

I remember that fairly well, processes that took a couple hours to run were taking days. Ouch. I believe that was fixed, eventually.

And yeah, that was all a little off-topic. Sorry.

Reply Parent Score: 5