Процессоры Intel Itanium нового поколения выйдут в 2012 году

Корпорация Intel на конференции Hot Chips раскрыла дополнительную информацию о процессорах Itanium нового поколения с кодовым именем Poulson. 32-нанометровые чипы Poulson придут на … Читать далее…

Full system emulation?

It’s been a while since I wrote an update. In the past couple of weeks, my work has taken a different turn.

After the trivial Hello World program was working, I mentioned in the last post that I would like to do some housekeeping before moving on. Well the memory map issue turns out to be bigger than I expected. After a discussion with my mentor it became clear that using softmmu for user-level emulation only is not (easily) possible right now. What we decided instead is - emulate the full system! Since system emulation is already set up to use softmmu, most of the device emulation was written several years ago by Intel and HP, and open source EFI firmware exists (TianoCore), it should be possible to get this thing rolling. The only missing piece is the actual CPU.

Which is what I am working on.

So what’s the current status? Well it turned out to be more complicated than the previous paragraph makes it sound like (as expected :-).

I started with getting the qemu-kvm source code which includes the Itanium device emulation (sans CPU emulation). My first target was to compile ia64-softmmu target successfully, and then hook my preliminary cpu emulation into it. Then later try to get an EFI firmware going on top of it.

The Qemu source code, as I’ve repeatedly said, is very complicated. For a beginner to the code base, figuring out where what goes and what each file contains, how the code flows etc. is a considerable challenge.

My strategy was to not start with qemu-kvm code base itself (as suggested by Alex), but to import Itanium-relevant changes back into my own qemu repository. The ia64-linux-user target was to be kept around for later. Step by step I inched closer to getting ia64-softmmu to build, cross-comparing with qemu-kvm (which itself didn’t build). Meanwhile I also removed all usage of h2g() and g2h() and switched to using proper memory access macros ldl_* etc.

At the moment, I am stuck with some undefined symbols at linker stage (pci_info, irq_info). I suspect this is because I have not yet figured out exactly which device emulation files were changed or added for Itanium and in what way. The qemu-kvm fork diverges quite a bit from standard qemu so a lot of the changes are not Itanium-specific. I had to go through the diffs and identify which were relevant and which were not.

My immediate goal right now is to find out what’s required for full device emulation, then import it into qemu. Once this builds successfully, I will try to get a firmware running. Actually booting it up is probably quite far off as the cpu emulation can barely emulate a handful of instructions. But we’ll get there!

Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

Poulson is the latest step in that process, and will be the foundation for the next few years of Itanium innovation, McInerney said. The chip will have 3.1 billion transistors (Tukwila has 2 billion), will have eight cores, will offer 54MB of on-die memory and will be pin compatible with the four-core Itanium 9300, he said.

It also will be built on Intel’s 32-nanometer manufacturing process. Tukwila is a 65-nm chip.

“We’re certainly putting together a design [with Poulson] that will carry us through this decade,” McInerney said.

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Intel Previews 32nm Itanium "Poulson" Processor - HotHardware

HotHardware has the scoop on the new Itanium Processor, named “Poulson”.  High points are:

  • 32nm technology 
  • 3.1 Billion transistors
  • 8 core architecture
  • 54MB total on-die memory
  • Compatible with older Itanium 9300 series processors ( 65nm technology, Tukwila)
  • RAS and power management improvements
HP Demands Oracle Reverse Course on Itanium Support – AllThingsD

Tension between HP and Oracle is only heating up since Oracle announced it would no longer support Itanium in March.

Hewlett-Packard says it has sent a formal demand letter to software giant Oracle insisting that it reverse its decision, made in March, to stop building software for Intel’s Itanium server chip.

In the letter, which was not released, HP demands that Oracle honor confidential contractual obligations made between them, and return to developing software that works with Intel’s server chip, and for which HP is essentially the only significant vendor.

Bill Wohl, HP’s chief communications officer, said that HP was making the demand on behalf of its customers who he said have made a significant investment in buying HP servers that use the Itanium chip.

Wohl said that HP and Oracle share roughly 140,000 different customers between them. HP believes that Oracle’s decision violates legally binding commitments and that it constitutes an “unlawful attempt to force customers from HP Itanium platforms” to Oracle’s own hardware platforms. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems last year.

“It is our hope that Oracle will honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers,” HP said in a statement. “However, if Oracle continues to disregard its commitments, and continues to engage in conduct designed to deny choice and harm competition, we will take whatever legal actions are available to us necessary to protect our customers and the significant investments they have made.”

Oracle’s decision touched off a war of words with Intel and HP when it said it would stop supporting Intel’s chip, saying it said it saw no future for the business. Intel responded saying that there is indeed a long-term roadmap for more Itanium products. Oracle then said it was only being honest about the situation. Intel and HP have since promised that they remain committed to the Itanium product.

Customers then started a campaign to try and change Oracle’s mind, which apparently hasn’t worked. Oracle declined comment.
Oracle fires Itanium countersuit at HP • The Register

More legal shenanigans from HP and Oracle over Itanium. Oracle claims that HP is paying Intel to continue developing Itanium.

Late Friday, Oracle filed a countersuit against HP, which sued Oracle back in June because Oracle said in March that it would not be developing future releases of its database, middleware, and application software on future Itanium processors.

It’s hard to tell who is stretching the truth more it in the ongoing lawsuit, and now countersuit, between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle over the fate of the Itanium processor from Intel. The reason is that the court documents coming out describing the situation are heavily redacted, with all the juicy bits that might offer some clarity being blacked out.

In the amended cross-complaint filed last Friday, which was posted on the Scribed document sharing site here, Ellison & Co’s lawyers are slapping back at HP with seven counts, including charges of fraud, defamation, intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, as well as violation of the Lanham Act and two violations of the California Business and Professional Code.

“HP engaged in a multi-year campaign of secrecy and deception designed to conceal the truth about Intel Corporation’s commitment to the Itanium microprocessor in order to extend its Itanium server business at Oracle’s expense and reap large profits from its own unsuspecting installed base of Itanium users,” Oracle lawyers wrote in the brief sent to Judge James Kleinberg of the California Supreme Court in Santa Clara.

“When Oracle announced the truth about Itanium – that Intel’s strategic focus was not on Itanium but on its competing Xeon line of microprocessors, and that Itanium was nearing its end of life – HP reacted with a ferocious effort to foment false customer outrage and to vilify and defame Oracle, all to buy itself more time to milk its customer base and falsely blame Oracle for Itanium’s demise.”

Oracle says that in the process of document discovery in the Itanium case, it stumbled upon an agreement whereby HP is paying Intel to keep the Itanium processor alive – something Oracle says it did not know when it made the decision to pull software support from the future Itanium processors back in March. Oracle’s beef is that this revised “Itanium Collaboration Agreement” was done secretly, without partners or customers being told what the deal is.

“There is, of course, nothing wrong with entering into a contract with a supplier to ensure the supply of a key input,” Oracle said in its countersuit. “Had HP simply entered into the Intel deal and revealed it – perhaps taken credit for it – Oracle would have nothing to complain about.” Oracle contends that “Intel desperately wanted out of Itanium” and that this as well as the HP agreement to essentially pay Intel to keep the Itanium roadmap alive was something that it was entitled to as an HP and Intel partner and that HP’s customers (who are often users of Oracle’s software as it turns out) are similarly entitled to.

By torpedoing the Itanium platform, Oracle can sink a big portion of HP’s enterprise systems profits, which come from HP-UX system sales and support contracts. Oracle has shown no love to HP since it acquired the Sun Microsystems hardware and operating system business and it got worse when HP fired Larry Ellison’s tennis buddy, Mark Hurd, as CEO.

It got even worse when HP hired former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker to replace him and former Oracle president Ray Lane to be its chairman. Once Hurd came into Oracle as co-president, it was a matter of months before the gloves were off. Whatever the legal, technical, or market merits of Oracle’s moves with regard to Itanium, the intended effect has been realized: HP’s Unix business is shrinking. Then again, so is Oracle’s Unix business, as the latest Gartner server figures show. So far, IBM seems to be the big winner in the tit-for-tat legal spat between these two companies.

Oracle is also filing its countersuit against HP because it says that it was fraudulently induced into entering in an agreement that allowed it to hired Hurd after he had been let go from HP. It claims that HP concealed and misrepresented the “truth about Itanium” and concealed “material information” that it was about to hire Apotheker and Lane to run the company.

Oracle also reminded everyone that HP tried to add clauses to the Hurd agreement that would guarantee HP’s access to Java, its ability to sell Solaris on x86 platforms, and ongoing support from Oracle for its software stack on HP-UX. This language was struck from the commitment reaffirmation portion of the Hurd agreement, and in a draft supplied by Oracle, all that was left was this:

“Oracle and HP reaffirm their commitment to their longstanding strategic relationship and their mutual desire to continue to support their mutual customers. Oracle will continue to offer its product suite on HP platforms and HP will continue to support Oracle products (including Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM) on its hardware in a manner consistent with that partnership.”

The actual Hurd agreement remains under seal, so we don’t know what it says. But this portion of the agreement, however it was worded, is the clause in the agreement that HP’s lawyers are arguing is a commitment by Oracle to continue to support its software on HP-UX/Itanium machines made by HP. Oracle is seeking a recission of the Hurd hiring agreement in its countersuit.

Incidentally, Oracle’s countersuit says that HP’s allegations in its lawsuit from June that Oracle is withholding support to current Itanium customers on current Oracle software is “utterly false” and that “Oracle is fully supporting the current (and many past) versions of its software on Itanium servers, by issuing bug-fixes per its standard policies.”

In the wake of Oracle’s countersuit, HP put out a lengthy statement of its own.

Interestingly, in the week before the Hurd hiring agreement was signed on September 20, HP says that Oracle’s general counsel wrote in an email that this provision was “an agreement to continue to work together as the companies have – with Oracle porting products to HP’s platform and HP supporting the ported products and the parties engaging in joint marketing opportunities – for the mutual benefit of customers.”

While much remains murky in this suit and countersuit, what seems clear at this point is that we are going to have a Bill Clinton verb definition moment like that during the ex-President’s impeachment. It will all depend on what the definition of the word “support” is.

Oracle will no doubt argue that it is continuing to support HP-UX and Itanium with current and prior releases of its database, middleware, and application software. HP will no doubt argue that what the clause meant was that Oracle would continue to port future releases to future Itanium chips and HP-UX releases.

HP continues to contend, and reiterated in its statement, that Oracle wants to move Itanium server customers to its own Sun systems and that the “tactics employed by Oracle in support of this purpose included pricing misconduct, withholding of benchmarking scores for HP servers run on Oracle software, and abusing customers on support issues.”

The HP-Oracle lawsuit is scheduled for trial on April 2, 2012, and will also probably have both sides arguing about how long a proper server chip roadmap needs to be so it is not at “end of life,” and what it means if HP is indeed paying Intel to keep the Itanium chip alive. It will be interesting to see what that is costing HP and how long that commitment term is for, if it turns out to be true.

Intel и HP отрицают "смерть" серверных процессоров Itanium

Представители компаний Intel и HP дали резкий ответ на заявления компании Oracle о “смерти” серверных процессоров Itanium. В то же время в Oracle отметили, что HP вводит своих … Читать далее…

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