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Software mavens crit Intel, AMD 64-bit plans

It's unfair to compare EM64T with iAMD64. Yet
Sun Dec 19 2004, 15:13
A LINUX KERNEL expert thinks it's rather unfair to compare Intel's Nocona and soon to be Prescott EM64T with AMD's 64-32 bit tech.

That appears to be the gist of an overview of the X86-64 kernel presented in a PDF, which you can find here.

But the slides make some interesting points about one 64-bit myth - namely that 64 bit is "bigger". The presenter says that it depends which CPU you optimise for. Nor is it true that 64-bit is slower. And the 2GB effective limit of 32-bit architecture gives the lie to the RAM myth too, the slides suggest.

Whether it's an AMD implementation of 64-32 or an Intel implementation, each has some limitations, the software guy reckons.

The slides also point to some problems porting software, which probably don't appear in either AMD or Intel marketing slides, or Via slides, yet.

Slide 15 is particularly interesting, given that most device drivers use DMA (direct memory access).

AMD comes in for its fair share of criticism because there's a "pseudo" IOMMU integrated into the microprocessor. You'll probably remember SIS was recently having a moan about this.

And Intel's Otellini thinks this Achilles' Heel could help his firm give AMD 64-bit CPUs a run for their money on this front, as well. µ


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