The LispOS Project: a position paper, part 2

Alaric B. Williams
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 19:40:36 +0000

> | I would like option a, but nobody would buy it :-(.
> I wonder what could be done these days with a handful of Altera or Xilinx
> FPGAs - I've never really known enough about the LispM designs to be able
> to make an estimate. Might be worth a bit of thought -- perhaps a
> "freeIvory"
> (well, "cheapIvory", hardware is never free) design on PCI bus cards?

I once tried to design the cheapest CPU I could imagine - cheapest
per unit of processing power, that is. I'm not a CPU expert by
any stretch of the imagination, but if anyone's interested, I'll
be happy to put my ideas into words for them.

> | I was thinking of this. It _can_ be done with a minimal kernel
> module and | mmap. But I've got philosophical problems: if you want
> to collect the | garbage in memory, you need to know what memory is
> referenced by the | swapped out memory. And how can you know that
> without swapping it in, or | keeping an expensive "pointers from
> outer space" list? But I know only a | little about GC, so can
> someone enlighten me?
> One of the LispM guys here (sorry, I can't remember who exactly
> right now) first explained a bit about this -- the details I'm still

IIRC the benefit comes from generational GC; don't swap out the youngest
generation. Or something like that.

> -- Dwight

Alaric B. Williams (

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