Sure it is still 1's and 0's but a lot has changed in 25 years

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2015 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: history, cpu, errata, dan luu

A question was asked of Dan Luu about what new tricks silicon has learned since the early days of the eighties.  The answer covers a gamut of what tools those who work on low level code such as drivers and UEFI/BIOS now have at their disposal.  It is far more than just the fact that we have grown from 8 bit to 64 bit or the frequencies possible now that were undreamed of before but delves into the newer features such as out of order instructions and single instruction, multiple data instructions.  If you are not familiar with how CPUs and GPGPUs operate at these low levels it is a great jumping off point for you to learn what the features are called and to get a rough idea of what tasks they perform.  If you know your silicon through and through it is a nice look back at what has been added in the last 25 years and a reminder of what you had to work without back in the days when flashing a BIOS was a literal thing.  You can also check the comments below the links at Slashdot as they are uncharacteristically on topic.


"An article by Dan Luu answers this question and provides a good overview of various cool tricks modern CPUs can perform. The slightly older presentation Compiler++ by Jim Radigan also gives some insight on how C++ translates to modern instruction sets."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

10 years ago saw AMD reach x64

Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2013 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: opteron, history, get off my lawn, amd, 64-bit

AMD64 arrived a decade ago with the launch of the first Opteron processor in April of 2003, back in the days when NVIDIA made motherboards and ATI was a separate company.  In those days AMD looked like serious competition for Intel as they were out innovating Intel and competing for Big Blue's niche markets as they were first to cross the GHz line and the first to offer a 64bit architecture on a commercially available platform.  At that point Intel actually licensed AMD64, re-branded it as x86-64 and used it on their Xeon processor line, a huge victory for AMD.  Unfortunately there was not much in the way of consumer software capable of taking advantage of 64-bit architecture and unfortunately remains so to this day, apart from peoples ability to benefit from the enlarged RAM pool allowed.  Take a walk down memory lane at The Inquirer, and remember the good old days when AMD was prospering.


"A DECADE AGO AMD released the first Opteron processor and with it the first 64-bit x86 processor."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Grab a sprite and take a graphical trip down memory lane

Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2013 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: gpu, history, get off my lawn

TechSpot has jsut published an article looking at the history of the GPU over the past decades, from the first NTSC capable cards, through the golden 3DFX years straight through to the modern GPGPU.  There have been a lot of standards over the years such as MDA, CGA and EGA as well as different interfaces like ISA, the graphic card specific AGP to our current PCIe standard.  The first article in this four part series takes us from 1976 through to 1995 and the birth of the Voodoo series of accelerators.  Read on to bring back memories or perhaps to encounter some of this history for the first time.


"The evolution of the modern graphics processor begins with the introduction of the first 3D add-in cards in 1995, followed by the widespread adoption of the 32-bit operating systems and the affordable personal computer. While 3D graphics turned a fairly dull PC industry into a light and magic show, they owe their existence to generations of innovative endeavour. Over the next few weeks we'll be taking an extensive look at the history of the GPU, going from the early days of 3D consumer graphics, to the 3Dfx Voodoo game-changer, the industry's consolidation at the turn of the century, and today's modern GPGPU."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: TechSpot

Not quite older than dirt; the microprocessor turns 40

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2011 - 11:47 AM |
Tagged: microprocessor, history

Intel's 8080, 8086 and 8088 might ring a few bells for some readers, but how many remember the 4-bit 4004 that started it all 40 years ago.  SemiAccurate takes a quick trip down memory lane, recalling the VIC-20 which was powered by Motorola's 6500, the 16-bit TMS9900 that was inside the Texas Instruments 99/4(A) and other chips which have taken us from 740kHz to the multi-gigahertz chips of today. It isn't just speed that has improved, think of the 16 address values of the 4-bit processors and compare it to the 264 addresses available now (18,446,744,073,709,551,616).  It can be argued the F-14 Tomcat's Central Air Data Computer did beat the 4004 by a year, but as it was not publicly available and indeed classified until the late 90's it was never really in the competition.  The same would go doe calculators and industrial control units which were purpose built and not capable of general processing.


"This fall it is exactly 40 years since the first microprocessor saw the day of light. Intel has of course provided us with a press kit that we will make good use of, but complement it with additional information."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk


Source: SemiAccurate