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Re: [Qemu-devel] transitive was: Port to IRIX host

From: Ian Rogers
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] transitive was: Port to IRIX host
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 10:07:25 +0100
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Sorry to spam, thought this would be of interest to a few people.
From Silicon Insider:

Transitive Corporation, the company that makes the binary software-translation technology covered here earlier (see Silicon Insider #03, June-03 <http://silicon-insider.com/si/Issue%2003/Issue%2003.htm> and Silicon Insider #18, Sept-04 <http://silicon-insider.com/si/Issue18/Issue18.htm>) has struck a deal with Silicon Graphics to distribute its software with SGI workstations. Under the agreement, SGI will load Transitive's QuickTransit software onto its Prism workstations.

SGI's Prism boxes are based on Intel's Itanium processor, rather than the MIPS processors that SGI has historically used. (Indeed, SGI owned MIPS Technologies before spinning it off as an independent concern.) With the MIPS architecture having nearly vanished from the computer and workstation businesses for which it was designed, SGI needed a way to convert its customers' software to the new systems. Enter Transitive.

The SGI deal gives Prism customers a 30-day "free trial" of Transitive's translation software. After that, they must purchase a QuickTransit license from SGI. Since QuickTransit does not permanently convert software, but instead translates code each time it's used, users can't cheat by furiously converting all their software in the first 30 days. Those who need to run older MIPS-based code on their new Intel-based Prism will have to buy QuickTransit or buy new software.

SGI is a perfect example of a company with a large installed base using the "wrong" processor. Sun Microsystems has (almost) never changed processors so it doesn't have this problem -- yet. Sun's SPARC chips are running out of steam, however, and the company seems increasingly likely to relent and use Intel chips -- at which point it may need QuickTransit as well. Hewlett-Packard also has a chequered past with several different processors (PA-RISC, Alpha, MIPS, etc.) so it may also knock on Transitive's door before long.

I imagine Jim Turley is unaware of Dynamo or Walkabout projects from HP and Sun respectively. I also think SPARC has plenty of life as a chip multiprocessor, ...


Anand Kumria wrote:

On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 14:55:28 +0100, Ian Rogers wrote:


are there any plans for a MIPS target? I've just been reading:


Interesting. Looks like Transitive may have a difficult time ahead of them
once qemu hits 1.0 - btw, are there any specific things in mind for 1.0?

I've looked at the TODO a lot of the items on the list seem to be rather
specialised -- it isn't immediately obvious, for example, why a cycle
counter would be a useful things to have.


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