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Re: Linux on the O2

To: Lige Hensley <>, Chris Carlson <>
Subject: Re: Linux on the O2
From: "David Chatterton" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 17:08:05 -0500
In-reply-to: Lige Hensley <> "Re: Linux on the O2" (Dec 4, 12:39am)
References: <Pine.SGI.3.96.971204001929.20475A-100000@barramunda>
On Dec 4, 12:39am, Lige Hensley wrote:
| Subject: Re: Linux on the O2
| On Tue, 2 Dec 1997, Chris Carlson wrote:
| >
| > I also would like to see Linux ported to the O2 but also don't expect it to
| > happen in the near future.  We have to remember that SGI is a "hardware
| > company" and did not get where it is because of software.  To ask them to
| > divulge the inner workings of their bread-and-butter product, thus allowing
| > competitors to reproduce and improve upon the design is asking for
| > SGI does not fabricate their own chips and they have done their best to
| > provide access to their source (as long as it doesn't compromise their
| > hardware investment).  The only thing they have to sell is their design.
| > Since MIPS is not faring very well against competitors and there seems to
| > a bit of doubt that they can stay ahead, what else does SGI have to sell?
| > Just their internal architecture and IRIX.
| I was under the impression that MIPS was doing pretty well.  Someone
| correct me if I am wrong, but I remember reading that the vast majority of
| MIPS chips wound up in things other than SGI computers (i.e. Sony
| Playstation, Nintendo 64's, etc.).

That's the point, MIPS is making a healthy profit from _non-SGI_ products
though like Windows CE, N64, Playstation as you suggested. Not that I have a
problem with that...

| >From what I read about the R12K, MIPS would appear to be near the top of
| the CPU game as far as raw procesing power.  When compared to a Pentium-II
| 350 MHz, a 300MHz R12K was about equal in integer ops and nearly 5 times
| the speed with floating point ops.  It's not an Alpha, but it far better
| than anything cooked up at Intel.  (ok, maybe I am a little biased, but
| real men use RISC).

But the best we have right now are 200MHz R10Ks, so we are relying on our
server architecture to compete with everyone else. We all hope that MIPS can
continue to produce chips that are competitive (and the R12 looks great on
paper), but Intel has a lot more engineers and R&D budget to leap frog ahead in
the long run. That's life.


David Chatterton                            (61-3) 9882 8211 (Tel)
R&D Software Engineer                       (61-3) 9882 8030 (Fax)
Performance Tools Group     
Silicon Graphics Pty.Ltd., 357 Camberwell Rd, Melbourne, Australia

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