Mike E wrote:
kvs wrote:Russia has the Elbrus CPU. The only functional VLIW design on the planet. Now it is in the process of improving its fabrication capacity to be
able to produce them without outsourcing to China or Taiwan.
That Russia does not have a big name in consumer junk is nothing to get excited about. It has a big name in military hardware and that is
It thought that the i860 had a VLIW design... Didn't it? Obviously it is barely used today, but still....
The consumer market is great to get into, but then again, so are the server, professional, and defense markets... I think that Russian companies should go for the latter(s) more than the ridiculous inconsistent consumer market. Companies like AMD are also getting out of it, wonder why? - Intel, and because the server market which they are aiming for will be more consistent $ wise. Plus, the consumer market is morphing into the mobile market, and is very tense thanks to competition of ARM, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and even VIA etc...
And its VLIW was not successful. Back then, they couldn't get the power out of it like MCST has with Elbrus. If Intel decided that they wanted to concentrate on it, they could, but the CISC is what is making them the money, so why fix what isn't broken? It would be pointless for Intel just like it would be pointless for MCST to go the CISC route. They are more familiar with RISC (Thanks to SPARC of course) type processors with x86 emulation. It is like Loongsong that decided to go the MIPS route instead as well. So three companies (MCST, Intel, Loongsong) are making processors for a specific market. While Intel will dominate the day to day use and many HPC systems thanks to its ownership of Fortran and the fact that many still use Windows (and windows server), where its architecture of the CISC design is taken advantage of, MCST and Loongsong rely on KNE/BSD in order to take advantage of their processors. I guess the 1 up of this is the fact that most Linux and Unix (excluding OSX) distro's are free and open, thus development can be much cheaper. Downside is that development for it has to be relied upon by companies willing to work with it, and individuals. While Microsoft has significant amounts of money pouring into the market, where they can pretty much take control. Hence why 90% of the world uses Microsoft and thus, have to use either Intel or AMD because both are CISC, both are the only chips that works under a Microsoft environment, well, besides Windows PE which ARM can work under...but that is a lousy OS (we use them at work for various gadgets. Blah!). Only way VLIW or MIPS or any other type, requires x86 emulation, and well, there is a major drop in performance in regards to this. For Elbrus, I read it is somewhere around 60 - 80% of performance loss simply for emulation, Loongsongs latest processor has around 70%. That is quite the massive drop and will effect its performance under Windows environment.
The whole purpose for MCST move to Elbrus 8 was specifically for server grade and workstation processors, not your commonly used day to day desktop variants (although, it could. As you can run pretty much any Distro in Linux with it). Ministry of Industry and Trade has put forward the money for its investment for a specific reason. Rostec and T-Platforms(dunno why them) have decided to go the ARM route due to being cheaper to produce (even if they themselves become a fabless design facility), and doing so to capitalize on the Russian consumer market demand for everything mobile gadgetry. Or maybe T-Platforms is looking into ARM cluster systems like AMD is. Who knows at the moment.
I think AMD is going the smart route. They are still going with the consumer market, but in the lower profile and cheaper to run style (their APU's were aimed at the laptop market mostly, and I think are quite successful). While they are also keeping in line with their Opteron series processors to still have their nitch in the server sectors, while doing some interesting R&D like ARM based Opteron (much looking forward to this. Only problem with ARM is that they are not superscalar in hardware only software at the moment). MCST is a FABless plant like AMD, but MCST is going based upon government demand, not really consumer, but created the E2K architecture specifically for multitude of rolls and making it cheaper/easier to producer later on. For instance, Elbrus 2C+, is the Elbrus E2K core, but is a dual core, with 4 DSP cores. It was (rumored) to be the processor for the AESA radar for PAK FA, and possibly other systems. Elbrus 4C was designe, by demands of the Industry and Trade ministry, for a processor to be used in industrial equipment and environments. So for instance, automation, CNC systems, etc (heck, that is total overpowered, since we use $1M German printers at work, that still use Win 95 and Intel Pentium III processors). Elbrus 8 is being pushed by Ministry of Industry and Trade for workstations and Servers. Since MCST is government owned and their work is tied specifically to the governments demands, we may not see MCST move to the consumer market like many wish for. They may be hard to get and only used for specific groups like defense agencies, intelligence agencies, government employees, etc. T-Platforms and its subsidiary, Baikal, is a private enterprise. Add in Rusnano and Rostec, two Not for Profit agencies run by the government, have invested in Baikal processors, which are just their own iteration of ARM (with possible some differences). So for the general market, it is really up to T-Platforms of Russia. There is Multiclet, Elvees, Module and Mikran. But the problem with these are: Multiclet is a non Vonnewman processor, working under the concept of cell processing and only to be used in specific applications (already being used), Elvees and Module, and Mikran concentrates mostly on SIMD development. There is of course other ones, but they are university development.
This breakdown is pretty hard. Cant believe I remember this stuff. But anyway, it is due to the lack of private enterprises really pushing for the development, that is why we may not see them in day to day use. The development really is coming out mostly from just government agencies or groups who are making specialized chips like Elvees, Mikran and Module. Only one is T-Platforms, since they are private, that will jump to the regular consumer use. They made it clear that there are about 700,000 devices (consumer grade) sold per year to the government alone (not to mention rest of the country) and T-Platforms is hoping to capitalize on that with the ARM development. So they may aim at the low profile market (small computers) and mobile devices.