[Python-Dev] One more dict trick

Tim Peters tim.one@home.com
Thu, 31 May 2001 21:46:11 -0400

[Thomas Wouters]
> Why ? Bumping register size doesn't mean Intel expects to use it all as
> address space. They could be used for video-processing,

Bingo.  Common wisdom holds that vector machines are dead, but the truth is
virtually *everyone* runs on a vector box now:  Intel just renamed "vector"
to "multimedia" (or AMD to "3D Now!"), and adopted a feeble (but
ever-growing) subset of traditional vector machines' instruction sets.

> or to represent a modest range of rationals <wink>, or to help core
> 'net routers deal with those nasty IPv6 addresses.

KSR's founders had in mind bit-level addressability of networks of machines
spanning the globe.  Were he to press the point, though, I'd have to agree
with Eric that they didn't really *need* 128 bits for that modest goal.

> I'm sure cryptomunchers would like bigger registers as well.

Agencies we can't talk about would like them as big as they can get them.
Each vector register in a Cray box actually consisted of 64 64-bit words, or
4K bits per register.  Some "special" models were constructed where the
vector FPU was thrown away and additional bit-fiddling units added in its
place:  they really treated the vector registers as giant bitstrings, and
didn't want to burn 64 clock cycles just to do, e.g., "one" conceptual xor.

> Oh wait... I get it! You were trying to get yourself in the
> historybooks as the guy that said "64 bits ought to be enough for
> everyone" :-)

That would be foolish indeed!  128, though, now *that's* surely enough for
at least a decade <wink>.