When do the instructions really matter?
Packet processors, DSPs, graphics processors and general purpose
processors are all optimised for different data processing and data
flow requirements -- in the "Broadband" home today you will find
examples of all types. There are clear examples of where the
specialised device is absolutely necessary, but there are situations
where the designer's choice is influenced more by the practical
considerations of software development and the desire to start with a
"clean slate". So the question we seek the answer to is -- when can
the new generation of Virtual Machines be used to provide the "clean
slate" and when do the instructions really matter?