Digital Alchemy - The Ultimate Emulator?

From: Roger Merchberger <>
Date: Fri Sep 17 09:08:28 2004

Rumor has it that William Maddox may have mentioned these words:

>What they are doing is something similar to what Apple did for the 68K to
>PowerPC transition.

Or DEC with their WinNT4 software that allowed DEC Alphas to run 32-bit
Intel WinNT4 binaries. IIRC, it could be done "on the fly" (more overhead)
or "precompiled" and saved back to the hard drive. Pity my memory sucks to
the point I can't remember what it was called...

> If you look at Transitive's own website, they
>admit that the emulation has overhead.

They'd be fools not to!

> I think their claim is that they
>are around 80% of native performance on comparably-powerful hardware,
>and that in the expected scenario of bringing legacy software forward to
>a newer platform, the newer harware would make up the difference.

That's very possible.

>With modern dynamic translation techniques, emulation can be this
>efficient, though performance can vary considerably with characteristics
>of the workload -- dynamic translation schemes are like caches, and are
>sensitive to program locality, among other things. It could very much
>be real, in a useful and pragmatic sense, but there's no magic there.

Can you say "Transmeta Crusoe in software?" Under the right conditions
(read: compiled with special optimization flags) it's clock for clock
faster than the x86 it's "emulating."

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   ---   sysadmin, Iceberg Computers
Recycling is good, right???  Randomization is better!!!
If at first you don't succeed, nuclear warhead
disarmament should *not* be your first career choice.
Received on Fri Sep 17 2004 - 09:08:28 BST

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