CPU emulation

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tomsa34, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. tomsa34 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2012
    Ok so no one uses the programming section so here goes. Is it possible to write an emulator for PPC to run Intel applications?
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    No. It has been tried, but it doesn't work well.

    EDIT: and by well, I mean at all.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Many have tried, none have been successful. The machine architecture makes it a very difficult emulation process.
  4. AQUADock macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2011
    It could be possible but to give you an idea of how slow it would be, try Q emulator and run windows 95 and see how slow it is even on a G5.
  5. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    I think your best bet would be an old version of VirtualPC.
    The paid version let you run a windows VM on a PPC Mac.
  6. tomsa34 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2012
    Interesting. I am actually taking some programming classes via iTunes U, so I am trying to set a goal for myself. I really would love to create something to bring life back into all these PPC machines that apple decided to make obsolete. I love my MDD and am in the process of picking up a G5 dual, dual core simply for this emulator. I know it is an ambitious project but I can dream right? If anyone has a G5 theyd be willing to let go cheap or donate I could really use it. Also if there are any more programmers with alot more experience that could kind of guide me that would be amazing! Just shoot me a PM if anyone is upto the challenge:) Game on Apple!
  7. smc333 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I don't quite think you understand exactly how complex this is. Emulators and virtualization are typically not even developed by average software engineers/programmers, they're often worked on by people with Ph.Ds in CS and CE.

    I'm assuming you want to do a technology like rosetta, which first of all, probably will be extremely difficult, but not impossible, since Apple DOES make Darwin's kernel public... Essentially when an Intel binary were to be launched, you would then have your code launch and translate in real time the instructions as they're being executed. This is an extremely daunting task, and would take MANY years for even a team of professionals to develop. It is definitely NOT a hobby project.
  8. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    The only way that PPC would be brought back to life is if people start developing for it again. I don't mean putting things like Linux or Android (don't even think about it, not even going to work now that we're past 1GHz), but making actual apps that are made especially for them.
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Absolutely! I worked on CPU emulation way back in the day, and it is NOT trivial and you aren't going to learn how to do that via iTunes U. Translating instructions and making sure all of the processor oddities are emulated properly requires a TEAM of engineers, who know the internals of the hardware at assembly level. A lot of the emulation requires deep knowledge of the instruction set, the assembler code, and especially the endedness of the CPU. If you don't understand all of that don't bother to try.
  10. kevin242 macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2006
    geesh you guys seem a little harsh. he is just starting out. the first time i took a C class my plan was to write a 3d game engine from scratch... needless to say I worked very hard and created a program that someone (no one lol) could use to help you budget your money and was very proud :)

    I think the only way a powerpc machine could emulate a x86 for anything important would be using some kind of hardware add on device
  11. tayloralmond macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    That'd be a dream come true.

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