I missed the Mill reference when I read the article the other day.
The paragraph before the one you quote says:
This is long enough without my talking about other architectures so I won’t go into detail, but if you’re wondering why anyone would create a spec that allows that kind of crazy behavior, consider that before rising fab costs crushed DEC, their chips were so fast that they could run industry standard x86 benchmarks of real workloads in emulation faster than x86 chips could run the same benchmarks natively.
He then says, as you quoted:
BTW, this is a major reason I’m skeptical of the Mill architecture. Putting aside arguments about whether or not they’ll live up to their performance claims and that every chip startup I can think of failed to hit their power/performance targets, being technically excellent isn’t, in and of itself, a business model.
So I think he’s saying that being technically excellent isn’t going to sell chips. He says it didn’t sell Alpha chips?
Like you, I am a little unsure of my interpretation 🙂