The TR Podcast gets VISC-y with David Kanter tomorrow evening

After a lengthy hiatus, we'll be recording a new episode of The Tech Report Podcast tomorrow evening. Special guest David Kanter, of Real World Technologies and the Microprocessor Report, will be returning to the show to speak with me about Soft Machines' VISC architecture and the performance targets the company released recently. We'll also be answering reader questions about VISC or any other relevant topics that come our way.

We'll be recording live at 9:30 PM ET (6:30 PM PT). You can join us on our Twitch channel to ask questions, or post your queries in the comments on this article. We'll try to answer as many reader questions as we have time for. We hope you can join us!

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    • the
    • 4 years ago

    VISC questions:

    How does the register sharing between cores differ than the dual register file setup implemented in the Alpha 21264?

    Do all the registers have to be shared between cores? IE can there be a distinct private register set for each core and then a public register set for the bare minimum coherency necessary?

    Considering that Soft Machine’s own research demonstrated diminishing returns past four cores per virtual core, would future iterations of the individual cores start to become wider like the traditional cores from Intel/AMD/IBM etc. in further increase single thread performance?

    Architectures like Transmeta’s Crusoe and nVidia’s Denver have software translation layers like VISC and their real world performance can vary wildly due to how well the software is able to compile/optimize to the native ISA. However, Soft Machine’s first core isn’t translating from ISA to ISA but just generating threadlets from existing code. Should any performance predictions be taken in this context as well? What would run particularly well on this architecture and what tasks would be a poor performer? Any general performance predictions compared to x86 and ARM?

    Does the Shasta core interface with any common on-die bus (AMBA etc.)?

    • tsk
    • 4 years ago

    Can you use a 24 hour UTC clock also when announcing times?
    Greetings for Europe 🙂

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Are time zones really that difficult?

        • lycium
        • 4 years ago

        Man, we already have to know all your states from their acronyms and when you mean when you say “in the summer of…”, cut us some slack now and then!

        • tsk
        • 4 years ago

        Nope, use actual time zones then, like UTC -8. 😉

          • cygnus1
          • 4 years ago

          I was actually somewhat joking too. Honestly, proper universal time notation like that would be too difficult for most Americans. Much like metric vs imperial, we will never be rid of our old fashioned ways of things.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    Excellent! Look forward it.

    • Klimax
    • 4 years ago

    Would it be possible to post GMT times too? Would make it far easier for anybody outside of NA. Thanks.

    • Gyromancer
    • 4 years ago

    I’ll just leave [url=https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1iP9mB3sfrPUENXWi1mWmpKRWs/view<]this[/url<] here...

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 4 years ago

    I LOVE YOU, TECHREPORT

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Any word about Scott sitting in?

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Hmmm who knows.

      I have a feeling his employment probably came with a no TR clause due to possible conflicts of interest.

      And/or he is too busy with the new job, and/or wanted/needed a sabbatical from TR?

        • UberGerbil
        • 4 years ago

        I’d like to think he’ll show up in the background as a cameo without actually saying anything, like Stan Lee.

    • Freon
    • 4 years ago

    Great, glad to hear Kanter will return. I found the podcasts he participated in to be some of the best!

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    TR cast yesssss.

    Q. for Kanter- how feasible would it be to run mixed instruction sets on VISC? If, say, some deep pocketed company with lots of SoC design experience wanted to gradually transition from Intel to internal ARM designs, could they licence this tech and make a hybrid x86/ARM [s<]Macbook[/s<]hypothetical laptop?

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      Subtle.

        • NTMBK
        • 4 years ago

        Shhh, I think I got away with it.

          • willmore
          • 4 years ago

          You would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids and their dog!

    • UberGerbil
    • 4 years ago

    Oh, can’t wait*. Perfect match of topic and guest. Though if you run out of the limited material publicly available from Soft Machines (and whatever else Kanter may have gleaned from his contacts in the industry), I’d be interested in anything he has to say about trends in process tech and uarch design from all big guys (and any of the small guys who are doing interesting things also).

    *Well, I’ll have to wait for the podcast because I don’t think I’ll be able to drop in on the live cast, alas — even if i was free at that time I don’t think I have a machine with Flash installed for Twitch.

    • DancinJack
    • 4 years ago

    YESSSSSSSSSSSS KANTER

    He already tweeted he is super skeptical but it will still be fun!

    edit: also – unannounced special guest Scott Wasson. called it.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]He already tweeted he is super skeptical [/quote<] So in conclusion, VISC is DOA.

        • cygnus1
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, I don’t see them pulling any magic out of their rears. The similar architecture that Transmeta had didn’t work out well either.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Whoa, first Podcast since Scott left! And with VISC to be discussed to boot! Woot!

    PS – OK, this is the [b<]second[/b<] post, but I'm not about to use 'second' just for the heck of it because it really will be the first Podcast.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    Don’t call it a comeback!
    It’s been here for years been rockin’ its peers puttin’ suckas in fear!

    Makin the flops rain down like a MON-soon
    Watch the VISC benchies go BOOM

    Explosion, overpowerin
    Over the competition, I’m towerin

    Wreckin blogs, when I drop these specs that’ll make you call the cops
    Don’t you dare stare, you betta move
    Don’t ever compare
    VISC to the rest that’ll all get sliced and diced
    Competition’s payin the price

    I’m gonna knock you out!
    Kanter said knock you out!

      • Peter.Parker
      • 4 years ago

      So, I’m curious, when you do this (that is, adapting songs), is it mostly copy paste, changing the bits that are relevant, or you write them off the top of your head ?

        • chuckula
        • 4 years ago

        I steal shamelessly [hey, I’m supposed to be an Intel fanboy, right?]

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