Solution in silicon?
Posted Jul 17, 2003 19:44 UTC (Thu) by melauer
In reply to: Solution in silicon?
Parent article: 64GB on 32-bit systems
>It looks like a deficiency of the x86 architecture (I'm don't know how
>other architectures do it, I'm just saying it can be done better).
I'm pretty sure the problem is that 32-bit x86 CPUs can only address 4GB of memory, of which Linux currently allows 1GB to be actual physical memory. The problem isn't x86 per se, but rather the fact that 32-bit x86 CPUs are so powerful and cost-effective nowadays that people want to use them in situations requiring multiple gigabytes of memory and where previously a 64-bit CPU (e.g. SPARC) was used.
The funny thing about this whole situation is that 64-bit x86 CPUs are out now (AMD's Opteron). Even if you _must_ have x86, rather than using a SPARC or the like, there is currently an option for doing so without running into this memory limitation. Granted, the Opteron platform needs some time to mature. For example, I seem to recall that there are few (no?) multi-processor Opteron boards out there right now. But I bet that by the time 2.6 comes out (and certainly by the time 2.8/3.0 comes out) this sort of problem will be best solved by using more appropriate hardware, rather than by using software hacks.
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