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Intel Itanium vs Alpha 21264

Silicon Insider heeft een behoorlijk diep artikel gepost waarin ze de architectuur van de door Intel en HP zwaar overhypete Itanium vergelijken met die van de Alpha EV67. Hier een stukje:

The size disparity between the two processors strongly suggests the EV68 could be manufactured with much a lower silicon variable cost than Merced. Then there is performance. Won't the bigger chip have more functional units and thus higher performance? Well, from a clock frequency point of view, a smaller chip is better because it is easier to distribute a low skew clock across the entire die and propagate time critical global signals. Having lots of functional units will do precious little for performance if the memory hierarchy cannot support them. With only around 16% of its die area devoted to on-chip cache yet more integer and floating point units than the EV68, the in-order execution Merced looks like it might spend a lot of time waiting for data and instructions to arrive from off-chip sources (L3 cache and system bus).

Today the Alpha EV67 provides performance levels up to 39 SPECint95 and 68 SPECfp95 at 700 MHz with higher clock rates promised. Compaq estimates that the EV68 will achieve clock rates in excess of 1 GHz and yield around 65 SPECint95 and 100 SPECfp95. But the latest estimate from MDR is that Merced will clock at 750 to 800 MHz and achieve about 45 SPECint95 and 70 SPECfp95. For a high end 0.18 um processor these results would be good but not outstanding. Certainly not enough to live up to the Intel and Hewlett Packard (Intard?, Hewtel?) hype about EPIC and IA-64. If you mention the MDR Merced performance estimates to some people in silicon valley you elicit a snicker and a reply along the lines of "yeah, when hell freezes over".



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Bron: Silicon Insider

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