Expiry of x86-64 patents

By: Jukka Larja (roskakori2006.delete@this.gmail.com), April 19, 2019 10:44 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Gian-Carlo Pascutto (gcp.delete@this.sjeng.org) on April 19, 2019 9:46 am wrote:
> Beastian (noemail.delete@this.aol.com) on April 19, 2019 9:05 am wrote:
> > Does anyone think that the upcoming expiry of patents on the core x86-64 instruction set
> > which includes SSE2, maybe sooner than 2023 (as the Athlon 64 was introduced in 2003) would
> > open the flood gates for third party implementations of compatible processors?
> >
> > The basic architecture including importantly the memory model could freely be implemented in hardware
> > once that core instruction set falls out of patent; I'm unclear about the amount of traction that later
> > Intel instructions have gotten in common software, but emulation could at least ensure compatibility.
> We (Mozilla) dropped support for non-SSE2 systems in 2016. The next thing would be SSE3. I
> strongly suspect most software on your desktop still works just fine without SSE3 support.

Steam Hardware Survey is a nice place to see approximate features on still-in-use CPUs. SSE3 is on everything, and CMPXCHG16B, LAHF and SAHF (required by Windows 8.1 and above) are on almost everything. The latter were introduced in March 2005 (according to Wikipedia), but I have no idea if there's anything patentable in them.

I think we (Frozenbyte) decided to require CMPXCHG16B, although we still support Windows 7, simply because it would be too much trouble to come up with something different for Windows (all consoles support the instruction or equivalent. Not sure if anyone's actually acted on the decision yet though). On the other hand, almost 3 % of computers not supporting SSSE3 would be too much, even if SSSE3 contained something useful. AVX with just 88 % penetration is not something we need to worry about in few years.

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TopicPosted ByDate
Expiry of x86-64 patentsBeastian2019/04/19 09:05 AM
  Expiry of x86-64 patentsGian-Carlo Pascutto2019/04/19 09:46 AM
    Expiry of x86-64 patentsBeastian2019/04/19 10:06 AM
    Expiry of x86-64 patentsJukka Larja2019/04/19 10:44 AM
      Expiry of x86-64 patentsGian-Carlo Pascutto2019/04/19 11:12 AM
        Expiry of x86-64 patentsJukka Larja2019/04/19 12:41 PM
          Expiry of x86-64 patentsRobert Williams2019/04/19 01:18 PM
          Expiry of x86-64 patentsGian-Carlo Pascutto2019/04/19 02:35 PM
      Expiry of x86-64 patentsGeoff Langdale2019/04/19 02:52 PM
        Expiry of x86-64 patentsJukka Larja2019/04/19 09:38 PM
      Expiry of x86-64 patentsYuhong Bao2019/04/20 02:35 PM
  Expiry of x86-64 patentsDoug S2019/04/19 10:40 AM
    Expiry of x86-64 patentsBeastian2019/04/19 11:10 AM
      Expiry of x86-64 patentsRobert Williams2019/04/20 08:15 AM
  Expiry of x86-64 patentsanyone2019/04/20 07:11 AM
    Expiry of x86-64 patentsGroo2019/04/20 07:29 AM
      Expiry of x86-64 patentswumpus2019/04/20 08:32 AM
  Intel vs AMD patentsYuhong Bao2019/04/20 02:32 PM
    Intel vs AMD patentsBeastian2019/04/20 03:35 PM
  Expiry of x86-64 patentsTravis Downs2019/04/20 07:24 PM
    Expiry of x86-64 patentsnone2019/04/21 07:36 AM
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