Itanium could have been RISC or CISC - same outcome

By: someone (someone.delete@this.somewhere.com), January 4, 2019 7:45 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
anon (anon.delete@this.anon.com) on January 2, 2019 7:56 pm wrote:
> rwessel (robertwessel.delete@this.yahoo.com) on January 2, 2019 4:53 pm wrote:
> > Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar) on January 2, 2019 10:38 am wrote:
> > > Brett (ggtgp.delete@this.yahoo.com) on January 2, 2019 12:15 am wrote:
> > > > This is not Itanic, which was always a pack of lies, from every angle you look at the problem.
> > > > The Mill team does not have billions to chase rainbows, which
> > > > is the most generous thing you can say Itanic was doing.
> > >
> > >
> > > Remember where Itanium originated - with HP's PA-RISC group 25+ years ago looking beyond where PA-RISC
> > > needed to go after the obvious 64 bit extension. One of the main ideas behind the original "RISC"
> > > strategy was that smarter compilers would allow slimming the transistor budget for the things the
> > > compiler could do, to be used for other things that wouldn't have otherwise been possible.
> > >
> > > RISC was a success, so the next logical step to HP's architects was to expect even more out
> > > of compilers, further slimming the transistor budget (no longer needing to worry about OOE,
> > > etc.) to be used for other things that wouldn't have otherwise been possible (i.e. wider)
> > >
> > > I don't know what evidence existed (in research or whatever) that the "magic compiler" necessary
> > > to make RISC work was possible before the first RISC, any more than similar evidence existed
> > > for EPIC's "magic compiler". In hindsight, the latter was obviously a much bigger step than
> > > the former, and proved to be too much, but I don't see how HP's team could have known that at
> > > the time. They had no reason to sell a "pack of lies" or "chase rainbows", they were designing
> > > a successor to PA-RISC, which would only be used if it actually performed better.
> > >
> > > Obviously the Itanium engineers will have figured out it WAS infeasible years before Intel actually
> > > killed it - because Intel didn't want the egg on their face after the heavy promotion and had various
> > > commitments to it (especially to HP) that meant keeping it alive far longer than it should have been.
> > > Intel needed to get 64 bit x86 widely avaiable so they had a good story to tell ("wow x86 has scaled
> > > so much better than expected we really don't need Itanium any longer") to try to save face.
> >
> >
> > The first RISCs were pretty small projects, and weren't intended to change the world like IPF was.
>
> This is a pretty vast over simplification, and probably based mostly
> on marketing and execu speak about the technologies after the fact..
>
> People working on RISC research and development were absolutely as passionate and strong
> believers in the potential and value of what they were working on as the EPIC people. Everyone
> would have hoped they could help advance the computing industry one way or another.
>
> > Had they
> > failed because of system level issues (like needing magic compilers), they'd have just faded quietly away.
> > Plus, much of the motivation for RISC was the notion that
> > compiler were *not* using all the CISC-y stuff in
> > CPUs, so to a certain extent, RISC was designed to support
> > what compilers were already clearly capable of using.
> > There were certainly lapses, and often far too much was
> > punted to software, especially at the system level.
> > But the only thing really being assumed about compilers
> > by the early RISC folks was that it would be compilers,
> > and not assemblers. After all, the model was basically
> > a simple, in-order ISA, with a short pipeline. Toss
> > high clock rates in with the short pipeline, and it would have been hard not to succeed.
>
> "Compilers should just be compilers" is vastly understating the technical challenges, but if
> you don't consider RISC as such a large or risky step as EPIC, that's probably not unreasonable
> but I don't know that it fundamentally makes EPIC the very different and dishonest.
>
> RISC designers saw trends in silicon performance that indicated pipelining
> would be necessary for logic to take advantage of it reasonably, and that
> held true for them and the technologies required did turn out to work.
>
> EPIC saw silicon trends of things like power density and wire delay etc and projected that OOOE structures
> would not be able to take advantage of it reasonably and their compiler parallel model would.
>
> I don't want to excuse Intel the company handling and marketing of Itanium, or even absolve
> technical failures, but around the time EPIC was being developed, it was trying to solve
> real and serious concerns of the time. And some of those concerns have not really been solved
> ever (single threaded performance), you could say that OOOE has failed less badly.
>
> I say this as an OOOE fan, but I think it's too much to criticize EPIC technical people as being dishonest.
> It's nice that there are significant moon shot efforts like that in industry, although maybe it's harder in
> some ways to let go of a failing project there than academia where publications are worth a lot more.
>
> And I actually don't think it was the compiler tech that let down Itanium. You can inline and unroll and parallelize
> everything but you can't adapt to unpredictable data flow in software anywhere but the most trivial things you
> can add prefetch or advanced loads. So it was never aiming to solve that major problem in software. Then if
> the stars had aligned slightly differently making OOOE a little more expensive and allowing some kind of in
> orderish run ahead implementation to be done efficiently with IA64, things may be different today.

I think folks here are missing the fundamental fact - the late 1990's were simply too late to
introduce a new general purpose ISA for servers and workstations and displace the incumbents.
The unique characteristics of EPIC/IPF in the end caused more problems than they solved and
the extra architectural complexity in IPF beyond EPIC was an own goal. This especially hurt
the first few core implementations. Intel's 64 bit architecture to replace x86 could have been a
clean RISC, or even a different CISC but the final outcome would have been identical. The 64
bit extension to x86 was a Trojan horse delivered to market in volumes two orders of magnitude
higher than all other 64 bit alternatives. Concentrated engineering effort combined with rapid
iteration in a competitive multi supplier market overcame the looming complexity barrier for x86
going 64 bit, superscalar and OOOE. The logic and economics of backward compatibility to the
highest volume and most valuable platform doomed Intel's x86 alternative as well as everyone
else's to effective irrelevance.
< Previous Post in ThreadNext Post in Thread >
TopicPosted ByDate
Independent micro threadsBrett2018/12/30 01:55 PM
  Independent micro threadsTravis Downs2018/12/30 04:18 PM
    Independent micro threadsBrett2018/12/30 07:16 PM
      Independent micro threadsTravis Downs2018/12/30 07:34 PM
        Independent micro threadsBrett2018/12/30 07:48 PM
          Independent micro threadsTravis Downs2018/12/30 09:06 PM
            Independent micro threadsBrett2018/12/30 10:57 PM
              Independent micro threadsTravis Downs2018/12/31 12:42 AM
                Independent micro threadsBrett2019/01/01 07:02 PM
                  Independent micro threadsMichael S2019/01/02 02:01 AM
                    Independent micro threadsMaynard Handley2019/01/02 03:29 PM
              Independent micro threadsMontaray Jack2019/01/01 02:12 AM
  Independent micro threadsanon2018/12/30 04:34 PM
  Independent micro threadsPaul A. Clayton2018/12/30 05:15 PM
  Independent micro threadsDavid Hess2018/12/30 06:47 PM
    Independent micro threadsDomaldel2018/12/30 07:06 PM
      Independent micro threadsDavid Hess2018/12/30 07:26 PM
        Independent micro threadsDoug S2018/12/31 10:26 AM
          Independent micro threadsDavid Hess2018/12/31 09:32 PM
            Independent micro threadsDoug S2019/01/01 12:40 AM
              Independent micro threadsDavid Hess2019/01/01 11:41 AM
            Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Domaldel2019/01/01 12:40 AM
              Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Domaldel2019/01/01 12:44 AM
                Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Domaldel2019/01/01 12:49 AM
                  Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Domaldel2019/01/01 12:51 AM
              Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Simon Farnsworth2019/01/01 06:05 AM
                Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Domaldel2019/01/01 08:01 AM
                Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")Maynard Handley2019/01/01 01:17 PM
                  Taking things to extremes.Domaldel2019/01/01 05:44 PM
                    Yes, I know, the forum is named *Real* World Tech, but I'm thinking that perhapsDomaldel2019/01/01 05:52 PM
                      Yes, I know, the forum is named *Real* World Tech, but I'm thinking that perhapsMontaray Jack2019/01/02 07:26 AM
                        Yes, I know, the forum is named *Real* World Tech, but I'm thinking that perhapsMontaray Jack2019/01/02 08:21 AM
                    Taking things to extremes.Maynard Handley2019/01/01 06:55 PM
                    Taking things to extremes.Kevin G2019/01/04 08:57 AM
              Overcomming thermal limits of a high dencity 3D arcitecture (Formerly "Independent micro threads")David Hess2019/01/01 11:36 AM
    Independent micro threadsTravis Downs2018/12/30 07:38 PM
    Independent micro threadsBrett2018/12/30 07:41 PM
  Independent micro threadsanon2018/12/30 08:20 PM
    Independent micro threadsBrett2018/12/30 08:51 PM
      Independent micro threadsTravis Downs2018/12/30 09:48 PM
        Mill and Independent micro threadsBrett2019/01/01 07:39 PM
          No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Heikki Kultala2019/01/02 12:29 AM
            No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Brett2019/01/02 01:15 AM
              No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Heikki Kultala2019/01/02 02:22 AM
                No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Brett2019/01/03 01:13 AM
                  "Leaf branch" is not a commonly used termHeikki Kultala2019/01/03 03:48 AM
                    "Leaf branch" is not a commonly used termBrett2019/01/03 04:35 AM
                      You lack parallelism than OoOE givesHeikki Kultala2019/01/03 07:38 AM
                        You lack parallelism than OoOE givesBrett2019/01/04 02:41 AM
                          You lack parallelism than OoOE givesBrett2019/01/04 04:10 PM
                            You lack parallelism than OoOE givesBrett2019/01/05 08:29 PM
                              Mill speculates, more parallelism than OoOE givesBrett2019/01/05 08:31 PM
                                Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/06 05:04 AM
                                  Mill *is* a speculationMichael S2019/01/06 05:53 AM
                                    Mill *is* a speculationBrett2019/01/06 09:03 PM
                                  Mill *is* a speculationjuanrga2019/01/06 06:10 AM
                                    probably ~2 (NT)Michael S2019/01/06 06:51 AM
                                  Mill *is* a speculationBrett2019/01/06 01:18 PM
                                    Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/06 03:36 PM
                                      Mill *is* a speculationBrett2019/01/06 08:47 PM
                                        Mill *is* a speculationJacob Marley2019/01/06 10:29 PM
                                          Mill *is* a speculationBrett2019/01/07 04:24 AM
                                            Mill *is* a speculationMichael S2019/01/07 05:23 AM
                                            Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/07 05:36 AM
                                              Mill *is* a speculationBrett2019/01/07 03:40 PM
                                                Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/07 05:32 PM
                                            Mill is something you don't understandHeikki Kultala2019/01/08 04:19 AM
                                              Mill is something you don't understandMichael S2019/01/08 07:44 AM
                                                Itanium and static vs dynamicHeikki Kultala2019/01/09 03:14 AM
                                                  Itanium and static vs dynamicPaul A. Clayton2019/01/09 08:51 AM
                                        Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/07 05:27 AM
                                          Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/07 06:23 AM
                                      Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/07 06:24 AM
                                        Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/07 06:52 AM
                                          Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/07 08:36 AM
                                            Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/07 09:20 AM
                                        Mill *is* a speculationjuanrga2019/01/07 10:22 AM
                                          Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/07 01:16 PM
                                        Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/07 09:46 PM
                                          Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/08 01:56 AM
                                            Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/08 03:39 AM
                                              Mill *is* a speculationMichael S2019/01/08 03:52 AM
                                                Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/08 10:10 PM
                                                  Wasted width not wasted work.Brett2019/01/09 11:44 AM
                                                    No such thing was declared. (NT)anon2019/01/09 03:41 PM
                                                    Very simple test for new uarch ideassomeone2019/01/10 07:03 AM
                                                      Very simple test for new uarch ideasdmcq2019/01/10 07:21 AM
                                                        Very simple test for new uarch ideasDoug S2019/01/10 10:01 AM
                                                          Very simple test for new uarch ideasDan Fay2019/01/10 01:13 PM
                                                      Very simple test for new uarch ideasanonymous22019/01/10 11:03 AM
                                                        Very simple test for new uarch ideasAlberto2019/01/10 11:32 AM
                                                      Very simple test for new uarch ideasEtienne2019/01/11 03:03 AM
                                                        Very simple test for new uarch ideasFoo_2019/01/11 04:31 AM
                                                          Very simple test for new uarch ideasEtienne2019/01/11 05:51 AM
                                                            Very simple test for new uarch ideasFoo_2019/01/11 05:53 AM
                                                              Very simple test for new uarch ideasdmcq2019/01/11 06:08 AM
                                                              Very simple test for new uarch ideasEtienne2019/01/11 06:13 AM
                                                                Very simple test for new uarch ideasFoo_2019/01/11 06:54 AM
                                                                  Very simple test for new uarch ideasEtienne2019/01/11 07:32 AM
                                                                    Very simple test for new uarch ideasBrett2019/01/11 10:25 AM
                                                                      Very simple test for new uarch ideasMegol2019/01/12 06:29 AM
                                                                        Very simple test for new uarch ideasMichael S2019/01/12 09:21 AM
                                                                          Word salad AI fundamentaliy brokenBrett2019/01/12 01:59 PM
                                                                          Very simple test for new uarch ideasMegol2019/01/13 11:51 AM
                                              Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/08 08:50 AM
                                                Mill *is* a speculationEric Bron2019/01/08 09:03 AM
                                                  Mill *is* a speculationanon2019/01/08 09:21 AM
                      "Leaf branch" is not a commonly used termMichael S2019/01/03 07:57 AM
                        "Leaf branch" is not a commonly used termBrett2019/01/04 03:29 AM
                  Calls are not needed for speculation for mill if there are no side effect,and dont help if there areHeikki Kultala2019/01/08 04:28 AM
              No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.anon2019/01/02 03:05 AM
              No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Doug S2019/01/02 11:38 AM
                No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.rwessel2019/01/02 05:53 PM
                  No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.anon2019/01/02 08:56 PM
                    itanicBrett2019/01/03 12:41 AM
                      itanicanon2019/01/03 03:12 AM
                      itanicDavid Hess2019/01/03 08:06 AM
                    No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.rwessel2019/01/03 09:18 AM
                      No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.anon2019/01/04 05:25 AM
                    Itanium could have been RISC or CISC - same outcomesomeone2019/01/04 07:45 AM
                      Itanium could have been RISC or CISC - same outcomeDoug S2019/01/04 12:39 PM
                        Itanium could have been RISC or CISC - same outcomeJan Olšan2019/01/04 01:58 PM
                          "fluffyRISC" has a namevvid2019/01/04 03:48 PM
                        Itanium could have been RISC or CISC - same outcomeBrett2019/01/04 03:43 PM
                      Itanium could have been RISC or CISC - same outcomeanonymou52019/01/04 12:41 PM
                  No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.David Hess2019/01/03 08:15 AM
                No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Maynard Handley2019/01/03 12:24 PM
                  No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.Maynard Handley2019/01/03 12:27 PM
                    No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.dmcq2019/01/04 01:59 AM
                  EPIC target marketsFoo_2019/01/04 06:29 AM
                    EPIC target marketsDoug S2019/01/04 12:42 PM
                      Lack of future visionDoug S2019/01/04 12:57 PM
                        Lack of future visionBrett2019/01/04 02:59 PM
                          Lack of future visionDoug S2019/01/04 04:25 PM
                            Lack of future visionBrett2019/01/04 05:18 PM
                              Lack of future visionDoug S2019/01/05 12:47 AM
                                Lack of future visionBrett2019/01/05 02:06 PM
                                  Lack of future visiondmcq2019/01/05 02:22 PM
                                  Lack of future visionanon2019/01/05 03:01 PM
                                    Lack of future visionMichael S2019/01/05 04:18 PM
                                      Lack of future visionanon2019/01/05 06:14 PM
                                        Lack of future visionMichael S2019/01/06 02:01 AM
                                          Lack of future visionanon2019/01/06 03:23 AM
                                          Mitch Alsup's MY66000 uses IF-like predication (I think) (NT)Paul A. Clayton2019/01/06 04:54 PM
                                            ??? (NT)Michael S2019/01/07 05:25 AM
                                            88K ? (NT)anonymous22019/01/07 04:20 PM
                                          Modestly expanded response: MY66000 predicate shadowPaul A. Clayton2019/01/07 11:53 AM
                      Thanks for the correction (NT)Foo_2019/01/04 04:31 PM
              No. Mill does not get the hit because it does not get the benefit even when correctly predicted.sdrc2019/01/04 07:36 AM
          Mill and Independent micro threadsMichael S2019/01/02 02:32 AM
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