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itix 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 6-May-2007 21:05:34
#181 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3398
From: Freedom world

@Jorge

There is also problem with programs that assume processes at lower priority cannot run at the same time (cannot interrupt their execution). With multicore this could happen.

This issue is solvable, though.

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Steff 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 6-May-2007 21:12:12
#182 ]
Super Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 1342
From: Göteborg, Sweden

@Hans

Quote:
@all

If all this techie talk is confusing or boring you, my sincerest appologies. However, I find discussing these technical issues very interesting. Therefore, I shall continue.

Hans


Yeah, well I don't understand a single word you guys are saying but strangely enough I still find it interesting!

I do think I figured out finally, that takemehomegrandma is argueing more upon a philosophical point ie. when does an amiga os stop being an amiga os, but that's about all!

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Plaz 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 6-May-2007 21:58:45
#183 ]
Super Member
Joined: 2-Oct-2003
Posts: 1568
From: Atlanta

@takemehomegrandma

I've been following along quietly enjoying the topic and barbs, but this last bit offends my logic....

Quote:
When the box becomes "something else", when all the pieces becomes "something else", it is then when it will no longer be *Amiga*.

Your tout the the merits of windows, but by your own definition, windows stopped being windows way back around version 2.0, and MacOS stopped being MacOS somewhere around version 7.6. Is your desktop with XP or Vista any less windows than when you were 3.11? Is Mac OS X and less Mac?

To modernize the AOS code won't stop Amiga from being Amiga. Ignoring the needs and preferences of your user base will. No doubt giving AOS modern features like Mac, Linux and Windows while keeping the "feel" of Amiga will be a challenge, but from the little I know about OS4, it looks do-able.

Quote:
If you fail doing this, and start running in all kinds of irrational directions with your OS development, then you will end up with a mess, an OS that is impossibly positioned for *any* market.


So far there's been no published "direction" yet outside of the work done so far with OS4. The rest is doom-saying.

Ok, sorry to interrupt. Please carry on.

Plaz

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Jorge 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 6-May-2007 23:01:19
#184 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2003
Posts: 657
From: Scottsdale, AZ

@itix

I'm just thinking. Is ExecBase->ThisTask really an issue ? I mean that could point to a fake address and throw an exception while returning a "virtual FindTask(NULL)". I mean, it would be triggered for legacy code only. Even if that causes a performance hit. Who cares. (I think both, Hans and Codesmith had similar ideas). And a per core information must be stored somewhere in the thread context rather then in the global ExecBase (or what not) anyway. So what's the big deal. A global cpu info (not necessarily the registers/state) can be mirrored, no ?
In another case, a seg loading a legacy code could be forced to one (main) core, but this would be a not so good idea. Also, what happens if that exec base is shared thru a shared library ?

(Speaking of performance hit: Relative to no exception. I can imagine, that even with performance impact a 2GHz cpu would still be faster then no exception on a current system:)

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minator 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 6-May-2007 23:02:40
#185 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 989
From: Cambridge

How about an alternative method: Use Virtualisation to execute 2 copies of the OS

If some communication could be set up it could be made to appear (to the end user) that the two systems are one. Interprocess communication could prove a stick point but even this may be solvable with message passing interfaces. Apps running on AOS 1 could be presented on AOS2 via a "fake" program, a message sent to the fake program gets picked up and passed to AOS1 via the systems.

It could get presented to the user as different screens, you'd have to deactivate Workbench on one system so you don't have 2 workbench screens - otherwise it would prove very confusing.

A bit of a messy solution and will involve some driver work but at least each core will get used.
This technology is common on Linux and Windows now but in this case it'll be providing a solution to a whole different problem.


The ideal solution would be to have a SMP OS which presents a "virtual environment" to legacy apps, that way they would think they are dealing with system structures but in reality they would only appear to be. It would be a complex system but it could scale across multiple cores - useful as the quad core PA-Semi chips will plug into the same board as the dual core chips.


Virtualisation also opens the door to using multiple operating systems simultaneously, how about AOS and Linux simultaneously?

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itix 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 0:15:41
#186 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3398
From: Freedom world

@Jorge

Quote:

I mean, it would be triggered for legacy code only.


Legacy as in 68k programs or current 68k and PPC programs? Current programs may use SysBase->ThisTask still... Maybe it is not major problem, impossible to say with my experience, but something must be done for it.

Quote:

In another case, a seg loading a legacy code could be forced to one (main) core, but this would be a not so good idea. Also, what happens if that exec base is shared thru a shared library ?


There really is not the perfect solution. Every method has its drawbacks.

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ReverseGTR 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 0:21:24
#187 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Sep-2006
Posts: 336
From: US of A, New Jersey

@itix

Which is why we should include as many of them as we can and inflate the OS.

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Jorge 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 0:27:20
#188 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2003
Posts: 657
From: Scottsdale, AZ

@itix

Quote:
Legacy as in 68k programs or current 68k and PPC programs?


Both, who ever access that pointer. I think it should be known by now, that one shouldn't do that. If you still do, well, programmers fault. The consequence is a performance hit (which I would guess is not even "feel able").

Quote:
There really is not the perfect solution. Every method has its drawbacks.


Yeah, agreed. Its a legacy OS. That's the price we gotta pay for backwards compatibility. The hope is still, that at some point in time these hacks will idle around in a more advance version.

(all this with a grain of salt, given any of these will ever materialize).

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kgrach 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 0:50:09
#189 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-Aug-2003
Posts: 678
From: Farmingdale NY

cross post wrong thread

sorry

Kgrach

Last edited by kgrach on 07-May-2007 at 12:51 AM.

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minator 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 2:29:38
#190 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 989
From: Cambridge

OK how about a better - and easier solution which can evolve into a full SMP / MP system.

You start with the system you use on Cell: That is you have main program running on the main core and allow threads to run on the other core/s. The threads have none or only limited ability to interact with the OS, this is done via the main program.

This would be easier to implement and since the threads won't access system structures will not break backwards compatibility.

More importantly if it was well designed this system could be used to evolve the OS into a full SMP / memory protected system. You do this by adding comms capabilities to the threads, you create an SMP/MP safe API, you then allow the to access the system via it. Eventually the OS should only be accessed via these APIs - you will then no longer need a main program for the threads.

Eventually you can then add a box for backwards compatibility and the new API becomes the main system API.

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Jorge 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 2:57:54
#191 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2003
Posts: 657
From: Scottsdale, AZ

@minator

That would still require a secondary (custom) kernel to run on the other core(s). Well, a second Exec could run there. But I think the Mac did that before it supported SMP. On the Cell it goes into a similar direction. libspe2 e.g. can now preemptive schedule threads on the spus (well, its still pseudo preemptive, AFAIS, but, its about a mini kernel for spus). I have written my own mini event dispatcher which runs on three spus to avoid to start a thread every time you need the spu to do some work. But it all ends there again: you end up writing a second kernel.

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TetiSoft 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 6:31:55
#192 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Mar-2005
Posts: 585
From: Germany

@itix

Quote:

An excerption from my ROM Kernel Reference Manual: Exec, 1987, page 22:
"As an example, Exec memory region lists should be accessed only when forbidden."

Oh well, that asks for an errata addendum...

IIRC, the memory list is empty in OS4Final for the AOne by default, and most
programs still work. The user can try to use the ADDCHIPRAM option of SetPatch
to create a MemList entry which seems to be needed by a few programs.

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Maczilla 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 6:42:34
#193 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-Oct-2003
Posts: 206
From: USA

@All really
Back in the old Mac OS 7-8 days a company called Daystar
(now a CPU upgrade company) wrote some kind of extension
for their Genesis MP (perhaps the very 1st mac clone, in fact)
that allowed the non SMP/non multitasking, etc. Mac OS 7.X to
run across dual processors. If I remember correctly, it did not
allow full SMP, but the extension did allow the Mac OS to have
both proccessors divvy up a task across 2-4 604 CPUs. I have
no idea how the extension did it's thing, but I was reminded that
it was possible to get some performance improvement in SW
that was not multi-threaded in a time when few if any apps were
even multi processor aware - even under crusty old Mac OS 7.X
(which lacked full memory protection).

Never say never.

Last edited by Maczilla on 07-May-2007 at 07:15 AM.

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ExiE 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 8:09:41
#194 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 18-May-2004
Posts: 450
From: Czech Amiga News

Someones getting high...
Can you give me example of at least one product that ACK really delivered (and it worked as intended)? Otherwise you discuss only myth.

Last edited by ExiE on 07-May-2007 at 08:12 AM.

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olegil 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 10:00:12
#195 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

@hatschi

Sorry, I know I'm late here, but I just HAVE to...

Why the concern with volume production? Do you think Adams sales would even REGISTER on the sample program of P.A.Semi? How many millions of units is he gonna sell between summer and christmas?

Say he pushes 10 machines a month. Or even 50. That's just engineering samples compared to the volumes you would need to make a set-top box (thousands of units per town!) or a car!

Edit: Set-top. Not desktop. Man, that was silly.

Last edited by olegil on 07-May-2007 at 10:14 AM.

_________________
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Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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Kluz 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 10:39:44
#196 ]
Member
Joined: 17-Feb-2005
Posts: 60
From: Dubrovnik, Croatia

@DrBombcrater

Quote:

I must confess, I don't really understand how the 1682 handles PCIe. It seems to have 24 'serial lanes', some of which are used by on-board devices like the ethernet controllers, with the others being available for PCIe use. It's an interesting and potentially very flexible system, but I've seen references to an upper limit of 8 PCIe lanes which would be rather less than optimal.


Upper limit is not 8 PCI lanes, but 8 engines (expansion ports) which can share 24 PCIe lanes in total.
For example:
one PCIe 16x port (16 lanes)
one PCIe 4x port (4 lanes) ---------or one 10 Gb/s LAN port (4 lanes)
two PCIe 1x port (1+1=2 lanes)
two 1 Gb/s LAN port (1+1=2 lanes)

This equals to 6 ports with 24 lanes in total.
You can choose between
8 PCIe ports (only 1 can be 16x others can be 4x, 2x,1x)
2 10Gb ethernet ports (4lanes)
4 1 Gb ethernet (1 lane)

What to choose is up to Adam.

IMHO this is more than optimal
Add an extra chip for SATAII and HD audio and that's basically a complete system for me.
And you have plenty expansion slots for add-ons of your own choice.

P.S. Electra evaluation board already have an PCI 33 Mhz slot for legacy cards.

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Helge 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 12:46:56
#197 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2006
Posts: 689
From: Norway

@ironfist

This certainly had me surprised and i have been away for too long, but only watching the news in the background..Is this really true? The High-End Amiga from ACK will use a Multi-Core P.A Semi CPU? I hope that is true

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minator 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 13:24:52
#198 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 989
From: Cambridge

@olegil

Quote:
Say he pushes 10 machines a month. Or even 50. That's just engineering samples compared to the volumes you would need to make a set-top box (thousands of units per town!) or a car!


Even in small volumes he may be able to sell it into other markets, e.g. as a development box for PA-Semi or even other PPC developers. His best bet by far is to put Linux on it and put it in a rack mountable case, he could actually sell quite a few of these.

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Cav 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 13:46:51
#199 ]
Member
Joined: 7-Nov-2006
Posts: 94
From: Sweden

@minator

Hey, it's gonna be Amiga branded case and keyboard! ;)

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KimmoK 
Re: AckOne High-End Will Run PA Semi Multi-core
Posted on 7-May-2007 14:16:47
#200 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2003
Posts: 5188
From: Ylikiiminki, Finland

@ExiE



Have some more popcorn.

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//
// Thing that I should find more time for: CC64 - 64bit Community Computer?

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