Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hardware: Smarter Memory

I'm not a hardware guy, but it seems to me that it would be really nice if RAM could be a little smarter and implement a few simple commands:
  • memcpy - Copy one area of memory to another.
  • memcmp - Are the given two strings of memory equal?
  • memzero - Zero out an area of memory.
Now naturally, these commands can't directly be used by applications because of the difficulties of virtual memory. I also wouldn't expect them to be as smart as their C counterparts. However, given some support in the standard library and the kernel, these commands could be very useful optimizations.


Anonymous said...

Why stop there? While you're at it, add SIMD instructions, which are also easy to do.

Of course, if you go down this line of thinking too far, you end up at something like iRAM -- solve the whole Neumann bottleneck at once. (I'm all for it. The current CPU/RAM architecture is looking sillier all the time.)

- tim

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Wow! You mean I'm not a quack for thinking along these lines? Cool!