[rescue] 670MP windfall in the surplus diving frenzy today.....

rescue at sunhelp.org rescue at sunhelp.org
Wed Jun 20 22:38:03 CDT 2001

mcguire at neurotica.com writes:

>  Since the current computer industry is rapidly becoming incapable of
>supplying the processing power that users (and I'm not really talking
>about home users here) are demanding for newer applications, BIIIIIG
>computers are going to become a way of life ("again", in some cases)
>for many/most of us here.  Take a look at Sun's machines for an
>example of that trend.  An E450 is a pretty heavy box.

That reminds me of my current insane idea about chip design.

Basicly, I think the complexity of current superscalar chips is
out of hand and simply not worth the effort.

(Yeah yeah yeah, some situations require it, there's no other way,
la la la. For a big chunk of the industry, I do't think it's worth

Any application where there is a major multi-tasking load, and 
system throughput is more important than single-process performance,
a single chip of [n] million transistors would be much more usefull 
if it were a bunch of little simple CPUs than one big complex one.

Put another way: given, say, eight instruction units on a chip,
you will *not* be able to keep them occupied trying to dynamicaly
schedule a single instruction stream. The OS on a heavily-loaded
server *will* be able to keep them fully occupied if they appear
to be eight seperate CPUs.

If you want to get really insane, you share resources between
the CPUs, which gets you back to the Barrell Processor design.
(The only example of that that I can remember offhand was the IO
processors in the CDC-6600. Anyone know of any others?) But then
you're getting excessively complex again.

Cache design becomes significant (both how best to split up the
real estate, and how to deal with coherency), but that's solvable.

And of course, you can take [n] of these chips and make a really
big SMP system...

I'm sure other people have thought of this, and are probably already
working on it.

-- david fischer -- dave at cca.org -- www.cca.org -- Cthulhu told me to. --

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