Mill Computing, Inc. › Forums › The Mill › Markets › Is binary Translating i386/x86_64 to mill code practical? › Reply To: Is binary Translating i386/x86_64 to mill code practical?
If you manage to compile Qemu or Bochs or some other emulator you should be able to run a complete x86 operating system. It will cost you a great deal in terms of speed though, unless you go out of your way to produce heavily optimised mill code from the x86 instructions in a JIT-like fashion. That is essentially what Transmeta did with their Crusoe processors.
(And maybe that Soft Machines CPU as well)
From what I understand so far from the published materials the Mill seems designed well enough to not suffer from the same pitfalls that prevented the Transmeta chips from really performing as promised (Large VLIW instruction words, small 64MB translation cache, low memory bandwidth…). On top of that it would be possible to provide a ‘super speed mode’ that runs applications compiled to the native Mill instruction set right inside of an x86 (or x64) Linux or Windows.
Sounds like that would make for an appealing desktop or server product. Maybe such a system would benefit from some extra instructions on the Mill CPU that take care of some performance critical stuff (TLB lookups or fast x86 register restores come to mind).
Would you consider adding some instructions for this purpose?