Is UltraSPARC T1 a general purpose CPU?
There is an argument inside and outside of Sun. Is the UltraSPARC T1 CPU a general purpose processor? Mostly you will be told, that UltraSPARC T1 is good for certain task, and not so good for other task. It has only one floatingpoint unit.So you can tell the T1 CPU safely a special purpose processor and this classification would be perfectly correct from an engineering standpoint. And as Sun is an engineering company you will hear the technical correct standpoint, even in the case it hurts.
But … i advocate the position, that the T1 CPU is indeed a general purpose CPU. Why ? Okay, lets assume that:
- ... an Intel XEON/Pentium 4 CPU is an general Purpose CPU by an industrial wide consensus.
- ... an Intel XEON Pentium 4 is good for desktop usage, for rendering, for encoding of video
- ... an Intel XEON/Pentium 4 sucks bigtime on server tasks. A T1 CPU is some magnitudes faster at Webserving, Streaming, Mail.
- ... the T1 sucks on floating point intensive tasks
- ... the T1 stomps the competition right into the ground at server tasks
Well, my argument: When a CPU like XEON with such a mixed bag of perfomance (from excellent to really bad) is called an general purpose processor, then UltraSPARC T1 has to be called as an general purpose CPU, too. When UltraSPARC T1 is no general purpose CPU, then XEON isn´t one as well. So UltraSPARC T1 can be called as an general purpose processor. But: For both processor you have to look which tasks you want to fulfill. At the end, there is no general purpose processor from the engineering standpoint.