Nov 22, 2022·edited Nov 24, 2022Liked by Babbage

Thanks for this. One thing you didn't touch on is how consumer demand affects creating a new ISA. Case in point, the transition from x86 to HP and Intel's EPIC/IA-64/Itanium ("Itanic") would mean consumers losing much software investment (previous investment trap?) or having that investment relegated to an x86 compatibility mode on the Itanium chip. Customers did not want that. AMD64 was released and widely (wildly?) adopted instead of Itanium because of its backward compatibility which allowed customers to avoid losing existing software. Sales of Itanium were meager at best. It is an ISA that flopped hard. The last systems with it were released in 2017 and vendor support ended in 2021. The last Oracle SPARC systems were also released in 2017 although support for existing SPARC systems is projected to be until 2034.

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Nov 17, 2022·edited Nov 17, 2022

Interesting article, however... by paragraph eight I was practically screaming in my head "Have you never heard of quantum computing?!"

Talk about a radically new future computing paradigm that's guaranteed to be the Genesis of a raft of new ISA's.

In fact I'm thinking this will start the cycle all over again with each player creating a new ISA that will fight it out in the marketplace with the others until they're whittled down to less than a handful.

Who knows. By then we may be working on the next thing beyond that and starting the cycle all over again.

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