unified ISA

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Just wondering what people think of Fred Weber of AMD's proposal to
introduce the x86 as a unified instruction set architecture for use in
emdedded systems?
Thanks
Lynn


Re: unified ISA
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I'm sure *he* would like that :-P

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Re: unified ISA
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You mean including the old 8087 FP stack instructions, the MMX
instructions, the SSE2 floating point instructions? How about the TASK
instructions, call gates, and the rest of their "silicon operating system"
phase. Would this include the decimal adjust instructions? And what of
the 64-bit extensions.

I don't think you'll see that at 99 cents per unit yet.

I suppose you could reduce it to a reasonable subset. And then it would be
incompatible with standard x86 processors. And what would be the point of
that?

My suspicion is that the only people we care that much about an
instruction set are the ones who don't have HLL source.

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Talk about a proud step back to the Dark Ages.

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There are at least some decent and proven tools
available for a moderate price.
Actually still light years ahead of the average embedded crowd.

Rene
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I don't know that I would be so quick to characterize x86 tools "decent and
proven". Rather, they are just *old*. Not in the sense of wine, but more in
the sense of cheese.

Anyway, the architecture is horrible due to backwards-compatibility cruft.
$/W/MIPS, RISC solutions are better for embedded apps.

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-- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /)
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Re: unified ISA

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Got a link?  I'll read it and get back.




Re: unified ISA
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http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/Legally_Approved_MPF_03_Keynote.pdf


Re: unified ISA

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http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/Legally_Appr
oved_MPF_03_Keynote.pdf
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Is there anything readable to back up the power point garbage?




Re: unified ISA
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http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/Legally_Approved_MPF_03_Keynote.pdf

Maybe I'm missing something, but all I saw was a slideshow
touting AMD's broad x86 line.  There's no industry proposal
that I could see.

I happen to like x86 for embedded, but I have a problem
with AMD blowing away their 186 line then saying they have
a comprehensive x86 line.  186 stuff is still a good mid-
range fit for many applications.

jim


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I believe that there is a company out there that is makes a
synthesizable x86 compatible core...

Re: unified ISA

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Never heard of the proposal.  The guy's talking through the wrong orifice.

Too many bytes per instruction to fit much of a program into 1k.  Very
difficult to see how you could "harvardize" the hardware architecture for
those systems that need maximum speed.  In it's current implementations too
many cycles per instruction to get reasonable speed at low clock rates (for
EMC).  Too many instructions, increasing the amount of decode silicon
required.  Makes it more difficult to get sub 50c processors.  Other than
that, if you're not concerned about power and want a large, medium speed
processor that's difficult to program buts has lots of tool support - and
I've used x86's when I wanted just that - there's nothing wrong with the
instruction set that you can't hide behind a good compiler.

It's a bit like saying "let's make the SUV our unified vehicle
architecture".  It oversimplifies, and misses the fact that one project's
requirements are different from another's.  That's why there a sports cars,
Hyundai Accents, pickup trucks, 18 wheelers, buses and psychedelic Kombi
vans.

Still, it must sound good to the board and the more naive shareholders.  I'm
sure glad that I don't have too shares in a company where major decision
makers are so far removed from the real world.  I worked for one once, but
that's another story.

Cheers,
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Alf Katz
snipped-for-privacy@remove.the.obvious.ieee.org


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