12 responses

  1. "
    Marcelo Pacheco
    July 8, 2013

    UNIX chips ?
    Can you say RISC, please ?
    Those chips just happen to run UNIX/Linux OS, don’t make them UNIX chips.

    • "
      Chris Jones
      July 8, 2013

      Correct, they are technically capable of running either. Yet, they are designed with Unix in mind.

      • "
        Marcelo Pacheco
        July 9, 2013

        No they’re not. I’ve been studying RISC/CISC CPUs since 1987, plus I’ve studied a lot of the Linux code. I make a living out of tuning database / OSs / Networks. I’m also an expert C developer (besides a dozen high level languages). I used to know Intel and Motorola RISC Assembly language intimately (when there was any good use for that). I’m no Linux Torvalds, but I have written my own Linux device drivers and made custom private changes to quite a few linux drivers.

        Linux versus UNIX versus Windows, nothing about those CPUs that benefit one OS over the other. Windows relative performance to Linux would be just the same. Linux run on all of them. Windows don’t run on them because Microsoft has no interest in porting after the Windows 64/Alpha fiasco. Only the ARM / MIPS CPU architecture has attracted Microsoft interest, due to smartphone / tablet platforms.

        Just show me one CPU feature that is tied or optimized for this or that OS, as far as Power PC, HP PA, Sun SPARC goes.

        Bottom line is all UNIX / Linux / BSD OSes are based on the Posix API and the C language. One architecture over the other might have better integer / floating point / cache / stack / register performance, but this is not OS specific.

        The real big difference between AIX, Solaris, HP/UX and Linux is software optimizations that for instance enable Solaris to run 64+ thread SMP single image systems with good scalability, while Linux runs out of gas beyond 16 threads. That’s software, kernel stuff, stuff like process scheduling, kernel locking mechanisms. Some CPUs might have some useful primitive that improves locking / concurrency, but as long as those features as documented, Linux does/can use those just the same.

      • "
        Chris Jones
        July 9, 2013

        You know your goods. Nice. ;-)

      • "
        John
        August 3, 2013

        SPARC architectural features are designed with Solaris in mind. They don’t add features to the hardware which they don’t support in Solaris. So yes, SPARC chips are, as the article states, made for Unix. The same is true for POWER features – they’re there for the code which can best benefit from them, which would be AIX (Unix) code.

  2. "
    dschinn1001
    July 10, 2013

    interesting news … – want to know too, if soon BIOS will be replaced by Unix/Linux – Chips on future mainboards ? – is this planned ?

    • "
      Chris Jones
      July 12, 2013

      What do you mean by replace the BIOS with Linux?

      • "
        dschinn1001
        July 16, 2013

        would be a good idea if something similiar like a BIOS – chip is to be set in like a micro-SD-Card – instead : there would be the Kernel together with /boot and /root files on it ( 64-GB would be sufficient ) – and the Rest is in /home on the harddisk ?! – or is this bad idea ?

      • "
        Chris Jones
        July 19, 2013

        Sounds like it would require a lot of thought.

      • "
        dschinn1001
        July 19, 2013

        mean only by this : exchangable chip instead of glueing Bios, which Linux-Users could flash themselves with newest kernel – or SSD-Flash-Chip in shape of micro-sd-card …

      • "
        Chris Jones
        July 19, 2013

        Sounds great in theory.

      • "
        dschinn1001
        July 19, 2013

        yea, most techies have overseen, that bios is breaking down the machine ( for industry ? ) – if bios would be not there, then pentium III would be as quick as now corei7 with bios …
        ;)

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