Subject: Re: Developer's Interface Guide for IA-64 Servers (DIG64) Adopter
To: None <>
From: Jay Maynard <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/13/1999 04:15:16
On Mon, Dec 13, 1999 at 01:31:41AM -0800, John Nemeth wrote:
>      It's Intel's new 64 bit processor intended to replace the ix86
> line.  The current codename for it is "Itanium".  There seems to be an
> assumption that it will be extremely popular.  I haven't seen any basis
> for this assumption other then the fact that is made by Intel.  This
> processor is not supposed to be compatible with the ix86 line.

This is the CPU formerly known as Merced. As I understand it, it'll run x86
code in an emulation mode (but don't take that as gospel; one won't land on
my test bench for several months yet). I expect it to be popular at the high
end because Micro$oft is working actively on it, and thus, supposedly, will
have a version of Windows 2000 on it when products actually ship; given the
way executives who pay more attention to the Wall Street Journal than (Damn.
What's a good technical computer magazine any more?) fall all over
themselves to follow wherever Bill the Gates leads, this should lead to big
sales in a hurry.

This is also the platform for which IBM and SCO are leading the development
effort for a 64-bit Unix, commonly known as Monterey. It's based on AIX.
(Scream.) I've heard there's a concentrated effort to get Linux running on
this platform, and there has been a Slashdot story that claimed that Linux
ran on it before Win2K did.

It would be beneficial for *BSD to participate in this advisory board if for
no other reason than to let them know we're out there. I don't know what
practical impact we could have, but it boils down to a question: Are we more
interested in old hardware than we are new?

>      On the other side of the fence, AMD is coming out with its own 64
> bit processor which is supposed to be ix86 compatible.  Given that AMD
> is currently (and has been at various points in the past) the ix86
> performance leader by a fairly wide margin, it appears that a big fight
> is brewing.

The Athlon 750 doesn't beat the PIII/733 by all that much...
What software development is being done to take advantage of the AMD
64-bit architecture? Or is it just supposed to run x86 code real fast?