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the x86 instruction proprietary extensions: a waste of time, money and energy

Dec 11, 2009, 12:03 (0 Talkback[s])


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"After all, the poor souls that have to program the insanely complex x86 compilers will take care of the complete chaos called "the x86 ISA", right? Why should the average the developer, system administrator or hardware enthusiast care?

"Agner goes in great detail why the incompatible SSE-x.x additions and other ISA extensions were and are a pretty bad idea, but let me summarize it in a few quotes:

""The total number of x86 instructions is well above one thousand" (!!)

""CPU dispatching ... makes the code bigger, and it is so costly in terms of development time and maintenance costs that it is almost never done in a way that adequately optimizes for all brands of CPUs."

""the decoding of instructions can be a serious bottleneck, and it becomes worse the more complicated the instruction codes are"

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