*bart simpson at the blackboard voice*: we don't need better hardware, we need more efficient software, we don't need better hardware, we need more efficient software, we...

@djsundog Probably related: Even C isn’t as “close to the metal” like it used to be because no one understands the actual hardware. It’s all too complex, too proprietary, and everyone has too little time before the release cycle ends

@cypnk @djsundog it's so weird how our current hardware is basically risc, but with a complex microcode-assisted operation transformation frontend so it can pretend to be cisc, plus crazy instruction scheduling stuff to workaround the fact that you can't compile targeting the cpu's real pipeline (there's so many different implementations that targeting one would be counter-productive anyways).


@kepstin @djsundog Not to mention a whole heap of additional structure and software hidden beneath. I read somewhere Intel’s Management Engine is basically an embedded MINIX 3

On a CPU. That’s... nuts

@cypnk @djsundog the management engine isn't really in the path of normal computation, tho. it's more or less taking the separate management chip that servers have (typically an arm or mips core running linux!) and putting it on the same die as the cpu.

(it does do weird stuff in the boot path to handle loading signed firmware, etc, but once the cpu's booted it's mostly independent)

remember, a "computer" is just a network of various big and small processors talking to each-other.

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