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[News] What a PPC linux kernel hacker thinks about the ArticiaANN.lu
Posted on 14-Jun-2004 23:52 GMT by JohnV68 comments
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Here's what Benjamin Herrenschmidt, a respectable linuxPPC kernel hacker thinks about the Articia. <A HREF="http://lists.debian.org/debian-powerpc/2004/06/msg00430.html">Here is some interesting thread about the Articia. Note that Benjamin Herrenschmidt is a clued linuxPPC kernel hacker with lot of experience. Here's what he thinks about the Articia "features":

It's basically incompetent northbridge design.

No, that means the HW is a Piece Of Shit !

Cache coherency is a basic feature of anything claiming to be used as a desktop machine.

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Comment 1not this again...14-Jun-2004 22:07 GMT
Comment 2Joe "Floid" Kanowitz14-Jun-2004 22:37 GMT
Comment 3coldfire14-Jun-2004 22:58 GMT
Comment 4Joe "Floid" Kanowitz14-Jun-2004 23:36 GMT
Comment 5Ben Hermans (Hyperion)15-Jun-2004 00:08 GMT
Comment 6Anonymous15-Jun-2004 00:14 GMT
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Comment 9gary_c15-Jun-2004 03:26 GMT
Comment 10Anonymous15-Jun-2004 03:30 GMT
What a PPC linux kernel hacker thinks about the Articia : Comment 11 of 68ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 15-Jun-2004 03:35 GMT
If we believe for a moment that "it doesn't support cache coherency" is the magic Articia feature, that means Ben and Alan both spat nonsense over the past year about it. Not having cache coherent DMA means paying a high price for all DMA transfers, and adding complexity to your OS. It's silly even to call that a feature, let alone claim as Ben Hermans did that it makes MAI's hardware faster than x86 chipsets.

Worse, as is pointed out in that thread, Linux _does_ support architectures without cache-coherent DMA. If MAI wanted the Articia included in that group it should have been the work of moments to do so. So why did they insist on trying to treat it as if they had cache-coherent DMA? Incompetence? A deliberate attempt to mislead people into thinking it was (in Benh's thoughts) a real desktop chip rather than just cheap embedded tech?

Some people asked, when the Articia "feature" was last the subject of an ANN thread, if we would see performance indicators from a fixed Linux kernel, to know how much performnace difference MAI's feature really is. I think you have there your explanation for the foot-dragging at MAI. If the "feature" is the absence of cache-coherency it would be a LOT slower and it remains to be seen how much that cripples OS4 once the PowerPC port is complete.
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