[self-interest] Re: Transmeta

Randy Smith randy at compomatic.Eng.Sun.COM
Thu Jan 20 16:52:12 UTC 2000

BTW, I *think* it's Transmeta where Ole Agesen, former Self team member, now 

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> Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 10:34:30 +0100
> From: "Gordon F. Cichon" <gordon at cichon.com>
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> Subject: [self-interest] Re: Transmeta
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> Jerry Bell wrote:
> > How does this 'morphing' stuff Transmeta is doing compare to the
> > dynamic optimization in Self?  What are the implications, if any?
> There are three fields that use more or less on the same technology:
> The Self programming language, the Java VM, and 'code morphing' in its
> different characteristics.
> They all rely on the dynamic translation of code into other
> representations.
> The code may be represented as Self byte code, as Java byte code, or
> i86 machine code. The motivation of choosing exactly a particular 
> intermediate representation is different in these three cases of course.
> And escpecially the i86 representation is not designed for dynamic
> translation from the beginning. Therefore it is particularly difficult
> in this case.
> The idea for the i86 came up, I think, with AMD who took a 29k core
> and strapped a i86 to 'RISC operation' translator in front of it. Intel
> did the same at their Pentium Pro-II-III design. The latest processors
> like K7 cache information about this translation process in their first
> level cache - like instruction boundaries.
> Digital recently presented a system which dynamically recompiles code 
> in software for Alpha processors - I can't remember right now whether 
> it was Alpha code for older architectures, or whether it works for i86 
> as well. Nevertheless, the principle is always the same.
> It is just the next logical step to expose the code translation
> mechanisms,
> as translated code chunks get larger and span more than the first level
> cache capacity.
> Please correct me if I'm wrong, I just cited from memory.
> Gordon.
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