a good volunteer
P T Withington
Thu, 1 Oct 1998 10:14:08 -0400
On 9/29/98 12:15, Kragen wrote:
>> The reality is that current PC platforms are too cheap to make
>> a custom solution worthwhile unless some real performance wins
>> can be demonstrated.
>I think that's why Symbolics keeps going bankrupt. (Not that Open
>Genera isn't worthwhile -- I haven't tried it.)
Symbolics never had deep enough pockets to use "cutting edge" processes
for its chips (heck, they couldn't even make chips initially). As a
result, the "commodity" CPU's always had better bang/$, even though they
had less absolute bang.
What will be interesting is whether Sun can overcome this issue with its
picoJava-based chips. The picoJava architecture contains many of the
features of the Ivory Lisp chip: fast instruction traps, stack cache,
"no overhead" write barrier. It's missing the "no overhead" read barrier
and tagged data, but it's a start.