Posted Jan 18, 2007 10:07 UTC (Thu) by gyles
In reply to: Paying nVidia
Parent article: LCA: The state of the Nouveau project
In the case of the Xeon all the instructions fed to it are from the known x86 instruction set (plus SSE etc.). The Xeon then translates these to micro-ops and executes them. Thus knowing the instruction set reveals nothing about the internals of the chip.
The nVidia chip is designed to optimise the whole chain, and does not have to adhere to a published interface at the hardware level. To maintain performance there cannot be the same sort of translations as the Xeon performs. Thus knowing the language fed to the hardware is more revealing about the hardware itself.
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