[rescue] sparc10 cpu - what to do.

Patrick Giagnocavo xemacs5 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 18 13:03:52 CST 2016

I don't know if i860 was overall profitable for Intel or not; that
would be my measure of success for the program.

When they got the StrongARM/Xscale deal from Digital they seemed to
have replaced the i860 with the ARM based chips.

re VLIW: if it takes 3 years for the compilers to work well, then, any
competitor doing VLIW has to slowly ramp up with early adopter crumbs
while spending and spending to tune and improve their compiler tools.
Which then gives Intel the ability to add another feature or crank out
another chip, causing competition to be in perpetual catch-up mode.

On Sun, Dec 18, 2016 at 11:48 AM, Dave McGuire <mcguire at neurotica.com> wrote:
> On 12/18/2016 01:18 PM, Patrick Giagnocavo wrote:
>> Isn't the Itanium the second or third time that Intel tried VLIW or
>> VLIW like architectures?
>> iAPX 432, up to 321 bits in length instructions
>> i860 with program-accessible pipelines
>> neither of these were total failures however for Intel, as the
>> superscalar expert cut his teeth on these two and this experience was
>> useful when he did the PentiumPRO chips; and the i860's graphics
>> register design experience were later re-purposed into SIMD-ish MMX
>> extensions for Pentium MMX.
>   i860 wasn't a failure at all.  It just didn't displace x86, but was
> that actually its intention? (that seems to be the measure of success or
> failure for most people)  i860s were used in lots and lots of high-end
> embedded applications, from high-speed printers to very high-end
> graphics subsystems.
>> My view: VLIW CPUs represent the ultimate in vendor lockin, given the
>> complexity of the compilers needed.
>   That's an interesting point, but compilers are "just software".  If
> the architectures are fully documented, there's no reason why 3rd-party
> compilers coulnd't be written.  Just look at GCC.
>   VLIW is tough to program, but jeeze, it's not impossible.
>             -Dave
> --
> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> New Kensington, PA
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