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Following Instructions [AMD Bulldozer]

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  • CPUs
  • Bulldozer
  • AMD
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November 24, 2010 11:07:43 AM

Quote:
There are several new instructions supported with our “Bulldozer” core which is due out next year. It’s kind of an alphabet soup – SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AES-NI, PCLMULQDQ , AVX, XOP, and FMA4. When you see this list of new instructions, you are probably thinking “well that means I am going to have to change my software.” Well, yes and no.


Source

Original Source: John Fruehe's blog, Director of Product Marketing for Server, Embedded and FireStream products at AMD.

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November 27, 2010 3:47:29 AM

Hmmm... What interest me is the new AVX instruction. Let us see what it will bring. Software change: maybe; complete change: no.

What would bring Bulldozer out if it was the Next-Gen System Instruction..the Successor to x86.
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November 27, 2010 3:23:38 PM

dogman_1234 said:
Hmmm... What interest me is the new AVX instruction. Let us see what it will bring. Software change: maybe; complete change: no.

What would bring Bulldozer out if it was the Next-Gen System Instruction..the Successor to x86.


Well in a sense SSE, AVX, etc are "the successor to x86" - they're sorta like bolt-on additional non-x86 instructions where the CPU can process in parallel certain data quite efficiently.

But I agree maintaining ancient x86 code execution for backwards compatibility is pretty inefficient.
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November 27, 2010 7:31:25 PM

Well, we've seen plenty of people tackle breaking free from legacy.

OS/2

Itanium

Alpha

Power PC

Apple on Motorola

(fill in the blank with your own answers)

While x86 may not be seen as the best instruction set by many, it is also the most under-rated instruction set.

What x86 allows people to do is easily upgrade to the next technology. Imagine if the next time you bought a processor you had to throw out all of your software and start over? Today a $99 quad core breathes new life into a system. Imagine if you had to shell out for a new version of the OS, you office suite, and all of the other apps that you sell.

My desktop downstairs has an AM2+ socket on it and it has seen at least 4 different processors in the past few years. And it has gone from XP to Vista to Win 7.

x86 gives you tons of flexibility to make change when YOU want, and you only have to change the things that you want to change. I even run virtual PC with an XP session whenever I need to scan receipts for expense reports. The fact that I can do that saved me having to buy a new scanner (and toss the other one in a landfill; well, actually goodwill, but you get the point.)

I am betting that whoever brings out the successor to the x86 architecture is gonna have a real tough time with it.

Beta was "better" than VHS but VHS won because it was cheaper (lower licensing costs) and it could record an entire football game.
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November 27, 2010 8:47:05 PM

^ Then the Digital Versatile Disk came out. That is where initial research by IBM, Intel, AMD, TI, and may other microelectronic companies put their large sums of money into something new. Yes, x86 is efficient and easy to handle, but when innovation must be met, there must be a change. When AMD introduced the x64 instruction set, Microsoft and other software companies followed suit on creating 64 bit instruction sets in the software. Now, we have 64 bit computer everywhere!
November 28, 2010 12:22:24 PM

Agreed. But x64 was built on x86. The key is that there has to be a "bridge" to the next technology to make it successful.

DVDs were a break and a big risk (but it paid off). Blu-ray players also play DVDs, and 3D blu ray will paly regular blu ray and DVD. That disk form factor (size) will be a limiting factor on future technology, but it will provide backwards compatibility. You could fit more data on a blu ray disk if you made it a bit wider, but then you would lose a lot of the compatibility.

And the funniest part is that it is all built on the same dimensions of 5.25" floppy drives....
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