Compared to x86, IBM's Power architecture and Sun's SPARC architecture have had a significant performance advantage. But today, the nearly 40-year-old x86 architecture has accounted for more than 90% of the server market.Root point of view, is due to closed systems and business attributes do not match, blind pursuit of ecology will push the third party to the embrace of the competitors. This is also the reason why the more open x86 architecture is now flourishing.
Power is too high
In 1980, IBM introduced the world's first RISC (reduced instruction set) architecture of the prototype, RISC for CISC (complex instruction set) in the high-performance field advantage. In 1994, IBM based on the introduction of PowerPC604 processor, its powerful performance at the time in a global leader.
In the high-end field, Power architecture with large-scale SMP system performance, which can guarantee the memory in any CPU speed is consistent. And x86 is used NUMA structure, CPU and memory partition, which means that access to their part of the memory speed, and other parts of the memory speed is much slower. It is also true that more than 4 x86 servers are relatively few.
Hardware, Power system in the reliability, availability and maintainability of the outstanding performance of the IBM from the chip to the system designed by the machine has a unique advantage. Power architecture of the processor in the supercomputing, large enterprise UNIX server and other aspects of the application is also very successful.
IBM's Power architecture is strong but not close to the people
In terms of software, its dedicated AIX system in the stability, software integration and vendor technical support capabilities are stronger. As users choose a platform to see the main software needs, the general protection of data and 7 * 24 hours without downtime, etc., power architecture stability and operation and maintenance, etc. is relatively better.
but,Power series of problems is also very obvious that the price is too close to the people, the technology can not keep up with changes in the environmentThe
After the rise of cloud computing, with the gradual maturity of the distributed system, the system began to reduce the dependence on the minicomputer, to rely on the cluster to provide performance can also be distributed processing. And more critical is that IBM's full set of services despite the excellent stability, but it affects the Power architecture of other businesses attractive.
Sparc: flowing in love with flowers
In addition to Power another in the Unix system is extremely active in the architecture is SPARC (Scalable Processor ARChitecture, scalable processor architecture). Also in the 1980s, Sun first proposed the RISC processor architecture SPARC. And in 1989, Sun will use the architecture of the SPARC processor used in high-performance workstations and servers. The architecture's openness and the features of the risc system quickly make it an internationally popular architecture.
SPARC intends to market ruthless
In order to expand the influence of SPARC and make further optimization, the 1989 "SPARC International" organization was established to help with SPARC architecture standards management, and its members include many of the world's leading companies and institutions, such as ESA, , Motorola, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Aeroflex Gaisler, etc., and the acquisition of Sun's Oracle in 2009.
The success of the SPARC architecture is inseparable from Sun's Solaris systemThe When the computer system is huge, the number of users increased significantly, based on the Unix operating system to build Solaris to better use of computer resources, all commercial version of the most reliable and most complete version. And rely on the performance and reliability of the SPARC architecture and Solaris system, which occupies the server high-end market. Sun's other more well-known product is Java, although in the 90s of last century for the development of smart appliances Java did not bring the corresponding return, but has become the most important development language today mobile era.
Such a strong strength should dominate the server market, but unfortunately, Microsoft and Intel after the formation of Wintel Union, both by virtue of their economies in their respective markets, making the use of Wintel products, server manufacturers can be preempted by low prices The low-end market. And when Sun wake up, through open source, etc. want to restore the defeat when it is too late
The Solaris system has been abolished by Oracle
Ultimately, the market value of over $ 200 billion Sun to 7.4 billion sold to Oracle. On the surface, Oracle's various software and SPARC architecture perfect compatibility can make this architecture back to life. But the fact is not satisfactory, Oracle in 2010 to give up the open source project OpenSolaris; the end of last year, Oracle announced that the Solaris operating system will be abolished, SPARC architecture, the biggest advantage only and Oracle software compatibility.
And Sun's product line is numerous, SPARC architecture simply rely on Oracle simply can not go far, and can compete for R & D cooperation between the few companies, SPARC architecture today's situation has become very embarrassing.
X86 rely on the ecological dominance of the market
Unlike Power and SPARC's wind and water in high-performance areas, the x86 architecture is a natural, In 1978 that year he was born, Intel is just an ordinary technology company. But the x86 architecture along with its cisc instruction set has opened a new era.
X86 architecture in the field of the server no advantage
Although in the first few years, x86 did not cause much shock, but three years later, x86 architecture was IBM PC applications, and soon became the world's personal computer standard platform, becoming the history of the most successful CPU architecture, Intel Today's position is largely supported by the x86 architecture.
Soon, the x86 architecture processor developed from desktops to notebooks, servers, supercomputers, and compiling devices, and Apple gave up PowerPC for the x86 architecture during this period. However, X86 CPU cisc instruction set has its own problems.
The inherent problem with the CISC instruction set is that the CPU executes most of the data in the access memory, which slows down the speed of the entire system. The RISC system often has a lot of general-purpose registers, the use of overlapping register window and register file technology to make full use of register resources. X86 architecture computer utilization inefficient, slow implementation of the shortcomings in the high-performance areas exposed.
Furthermore, the CISC instruction is executed in sequential order, and the operations in each instruction are executed serially in sequence. The advantage is that the control is simple. The problem is that if you encounter complex instructions, then the overall operation is slow and the process is complex.
CISC vs. RISC instruction set
Today's x86 CPU has been incorporated into the decoding function, which will be variable length x86 instructions into a fixed length similar to the RISC instruction, and then to the RISC kernel for processing. Decoding includes both hardware decoding and micro decoding. Simple x86 instructions use hardware decoding faster, and complex instructions require micro decoding, which is divided into several simple instructions before execution. At present, the biggest advantage of the x86 architecture is that the single instruction is powerful, the number of instructions is much faster; and because of the small number of instructions, high frequency operation does not need a lot of broadband occupied CPU transfer instructions.
X86's success is because Intel does not do the server
The reason why x86 can win the market is that it is a very open architecture. IBM and SUN are from the chip to the server to the system single-handedly organized by the company. And Intel is a very pure chip manufacturers, its business only with AMD and a few chip producers there is competition, which makes the server manufacturers do not have to fear with the competition.
SOC is not weak only strange Samsung is too strong
Like today's mobile phone market, although Samsung also has a strong chip design and manufacturing capabilities, but in addition to Meizu, there is no one mobile phone manufacturers to use Samsung's SOC. Intel's collaboration with most of the world's equipment manufacturers has further boosted the footprint of x86 architectures in the same way as Intel's shipments are guaranteed, boosting yield and reducing costs.
X86's success is because Intel does not do the server
Performance alone, both Power and SPARC architecture can be crashed x86, but eventually able to win is the "weakest" x86 architecture. This is not a bad money out of good money, but the choice of market competition, the root cause, x86's success is that Intel does not touch the server.
IBM is very strong, it is only an ordinary small company in Intel when it is already a reality. But the powerful IBM big bag, regardless of mainframe, minicomputer, chip or system all go into battle, doing so in terms of security and stability do have their own advantages, and in the financial sector is indeed the mainframe benefit, Can do so is tantamount to off their own single product of the road. In addition to IBM, which server manufacturers are willing to use Power architecture chip? Is that the equivalent of giving me a niche for rival IBM?
Intel's success is to know what should not touch
And the development of the SPARC architecture Sun is also committed this error, Sun in the most glorious time not only SPARC and java, servers, workstations, personal computers and other devices still occupy some of the market. But the SPARC architecture wants to develop must rely on the equipment manufacturer's approval, but who will buy a competitor's account?
Self-promised, the world go benevolent
And Intel's tactics are very clear, specializes in x86 architecture chip, never touch equipment productionThe So regardless of equipment manufacturers, software developers or system developers can not compete with the interests of Intel cooperation. Benefit from this, x86 architecture compatibility is more powerful, more and more perfect ecological system, which is now the market share of more than 90% of the current situation, Intel is also using the x86 architecture has become the world's top chip provider The
Google has eaten Motorola lost the loss of no return
Other areas, such as high-pass, focus on chip research and development and even the production plant are not built, relying on patents and technology to become the top technology companies; negative as if trying to push Andrews, 12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, three years later to 2.9 billion The dollar sold to Lenovo; Microsoft 5 billion acquisition of Nokia want to promote the mobile side of the Windows system, but now helpless Nokia to invest in Andrews.
Self-denial, the world Guiren, Confucius, then used in today's market is still applicable. Power and SPARC architecture in the strategic decision has been bound to become a small minority of the product, and Intel's x86 architecture strategy is very clear, after all, their products will never let competitors pay.