Re: Why Plan 9 C compilers don't have asm("")

From: Rick Hohensee (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 12:24:48 EST

>Cort Dougan writes:
> > I'm talking about _modern_ processors, not processors that dominate
> > modern age. This isn't x86.
>Linus mentioned Alpha specifically. I don't see how any of the things
>he said were x86-centric in any way shape or form.
>All of his examples are entirely accurate on sparc64 for example, and
>to even moreso his Alpha commentary can nearly directly be applied to
>the MIPS.
>Calls suck ass, even on modern cpus. I've seen several hundreds of

Modern? How many stacks?
There's a couple of Forth engines out there that pay the usual for a call
and get returns in zero time. Forth code, and Forth engine machine
instructions, have about twice as many calls as Linux code,
proportionately. Therefor, a return on some designs is one bit in every
instruction. Every instruction is "...and maybe do a return in parallel."
Forth engines don't have caches. They have on-chip stacks, or the Novix
has separate busses to the stacks. Both stacks, return and data.

Forth chips aren't modern in the true-multi-user sense, but if an
individual were to design such a beast they could get several of them,
hundreds maybe, on FPGAs available now. Such things are coming, because a
Forth chip IS something an individual can design.

Rick Hohensee
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