CPU/Hardware optimized for Erlang

James Hague <>
Tue Jul 26 20:03:46 CEST 2005

Thomas Lindgren wrote:
>(And why would the erlang chip have comparable
>performance at lower power?)

I wasn't talking about a 3GHz Erlang processor using less power than,
say, a 3GHz Pentium 4 (though I suspect it would).  I was musing about
an Erlang processor that gives performance roughly equivalent to the
BEAM *emulator* running on a 3GHz Pentium 4.  Using the old ECOMP
numbers, I'm guessing that this could be done with an Erlang processor
running in the ballpark of 100MHz.

To a lot of programmers, a super micro CPU is simply a platform to
write interpreted Python, Perl, REBOL, etc.  Or Erlang.  Cutting out
the middleman and designing the hardware to execute the language
directly is certainly going to be more efficient.  This is different
than the long ago debates on the subject, in which people (Wirth, et
al) would compare writing a *compiler* for an off the shelf CPU vs.
designing a custom processor.  In this case we're talking about looser
dynamic languages.

On a related note, you could design an interesting cache architecture
for a language without destructive updates.

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