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Free Merced simulator posted on Web

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The buzz on Intel's 64-bit Merced processor has lessened a little since the company's CEO Craig Barrett triumphantly announced silicon at the last Developer Forum in September. But that doesn't mean that the whole world has suddenly gone quiet on Intel's flagship IA-64 chip. Instead, programmers and partners have been in a kind of Merced purdah, as they busy-bee away with their virtual screwdrivers and software wrenches. And now a student has come up with a freeware Merced simulator. Jasonp, a self confessed geek, posted information about his simulator on COMP.ARCH over the weekend. In his posting, he warns: "Unfortunately, working with this first version is going to take a great deal of patience and a fairly indepth knowledge of the IA-64 ISA. Large expanses of the coded-up instruction set need testing and the assembler has no symbolic support right now. I'll be happy to put together an email distribution list if folks are interested and will gladly answer questions, but I don't think I'm going to do major work on the project in the near term. Getting this far has been exhausting, with miles more to go." You can find his simulator, bearing his warning in mind, in the form of a ZIP file, here. This is not for the faint of heart. The ZIP file is not large but contains some tightly coded C code. There's no EXE there, so don't think you can just click on an icon and test it for yourself. And, obviously, if you choose to accept this mission, it's your lookout, but it's also worth looking at jasonp's home page, just a step back from the zip file. Everything here you'd ever want to know about Pi and Fast Fourier transforms that you'd need to ask. We'd expect Intel to be giving us an update any day now on work-in-progress on Merced, and indeed, later this week, we are meeting the HP Merced team. ®

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