Subject: Re: Developer's Interface Guide for IA-64 Servers (DIG64) Adopter
To: None <,>
From: John Nemeth <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/13/1999 03:56:44
On Dec 13,  4:15am, Jay Maynard wrote:
} 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

     I guess I should have mentioned this.

} code in an emulation mode (but don't take that as gospel; one won't land on

     This is what I've heard as well.

} my test bench for several months yet). I expect it to be popular at the high

     Lucky you.

} 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

     Dr. Dobbs Journal, various other * Journal's, magazines dedicated
various UNIX platforms, Microprocessor Report, etc.

} themselves to follow wherever Bill the Gates leads, this should lead to big
} sales in a hurry.

     Yep.  Unfortunately.

} 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

     Yuck!  And, Yuck!

} 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?

     NetBSD seems to be interested in just about everything.  I think
the early support for PCMCIA and USB proves that NetBSD isn't just for
old hardware.  Not to mention the fact that NetBSD ran on the iMac
before Apple could get Unix running on it.  I also think that since
NetBSD already runs on several 64 bit processors and has extremely
clean code, it shouldn't take much to make it run on the IA64.  So, I
would expect it to be one of the early adopters.  I also expect that
both FreeBSD and OpenBSD will be there as soon as they can as well,
since it will be necessary in order to remain a force in the PC server
market (especially FreeBSD, which is pretty much strictly a PC OS; not
counting their Alpha effort).

} >      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...

     Maybe, but I'm sure they have other stuff in the works (Intel as
well, of course).

} 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?

     None.  It's still in the design stage, and is supposed to hit the
streets about a year after the IA64.  It is supposed to be a true 64 bit
architecture based on the ix86.  This should gain a lot of points since
it will be easy to port 32 bit ix86 stuff to it.  However, I have to say,
the ix86 is one of the grossest chips that I've programmed (6502, S/370,
ix86, and I can read 680x0 but haven't written any).  I don't do a lot of
assembly language programming anymore.

}-- End of excerpt from Jay Maynard