Linked by MOS6510 on Fri 17th May 2013 22:22 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "It is good for programmers to understand what goes on inside a processor. The CPU is at the heart of our career. What goes on inside the CPU? How long does it take for one instruction to run? What does it mean when a new CPU has a 12-stage pipeline, or 18-stage pipeline, or even a 'deep' 31-stage pipeline? Programs generally treat the CPU as a black box. Instructions go into the box in order, instructions come out of the box in order, and some processing magic happens inside. As a programmer, it is useful to learn what happens inside the box. This is especially true if you will be working on tasks like program optimization. If you don't know what is going on inside the CPU, how can you optimize for it? This article is about what goes on inside the x86 processor's deep pipeline."
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RE[12]: Comment by Drumhellar
by theosib on Tue 21st May 2013 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE[11]: Comment by Drumhellar"
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Although I have teaching responsibilities (that I take very seriously), my primary job is research. And doing better on automated synthesis is one of the projects I'm working on.

As for the 20%, this is where I got the figure from:

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RE[13]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 21st May 2013 04:02 in reply to "RE[12]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:


Thank's again, and that's a very interesting link.

There's a lot of unverifiable info there, but I have to admit that at face value 20% worse compared to experts for basic adders and multipliers does seem disappointing. Reading in between the lines I am inclined to think the skill of the outsourced company may have been inferior to AMD's engineers and they built upon inferior knowledge of the problem domain such that the algorithmic results were inevitably sub-par for AMD. (For all we know, these same algorithms may have been above-par compared to the engineers at the outsourced company).

I'm actually a bit shocked that AMD outsources such a crucial bit of their engineering process. I knew they went fabless a few years ago, but I didn't realize they began outsourcing the block designs as well. My own experience with outsourcing companies is that they'll say just about anything to land a contract to "save money", but then they hire far less experience engineers who routinely under-perform compared to the developers they just made redundant. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that was the case here, although this is all uninformed speculation ;)

"And doing better on automated synthesis is one of the projects I'm working on."

It sounds really cool. I'm envious ;)

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