May's Law:

Software efficiency halves every 18 months, compensating Moore’s Law.

@fribbledom No, I think it's not that simple. I think that current devs are not the equal of their intellectual forebearers.

Previous generations of devs had to work miracles in highly constrained environments, often working very hard to optimize their code effectively. In the era of "cheap' CPU and RAM, nearly everyone has forgotten the art of optimization.

Seriously, go ask a modern dev to describe the functionality of a specific CPU register of your choice and see what he says.


@profoundlynerdy @fribbledom The era of specific CPU registers is long gone. Very few special purpose registers remain.

@js @fribbledom @profoundlynerdy CPUs nowadays seem to translate machine code again internally?

@veer66 @fribbledom @profoundlynerdy That as well. But the times where ax (eax, rax) are strictly the accumulator are over. We left that behind with the 8 bitters. Even in x86 this was just a name, while in 6502, registers were still restricted to certain purposes. Today RISC has won. Lots of general purpose registers. Even x86 is translated to RISC-like instructions internally by the CPU these days.

@veer66 @js @fribbledom Sort of: on the whole most Intel CPUs use CISC instructions as, well, basically macros for lower level RISC instructions for performance reasons. I'm not sure if all of this is defined at the microcode level or not, I'm sure some of it must be.

So, CISCS persists but RISC is the real winner here.

@profoundlynerdy @veer66 @fribbledom Almost all instructions are translated, only the most basic ones have a 1:1 translation, most others get translated into several microcode instructions.

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