Barrel Processors Components Hardware

Barrel processors switch between execution threads on every machine cycle. This is also known as interleaved or fine-grained multithreading. Like preemptive multitasking, each executing thread is assigned its own program counter and other registers (each thread's architectural state). But, barrel processors guarantee that each thread can execute one instruction every N cycles. In contrast, preemptive multitasking usually runs one thread for hundreds or thousands of cycles while all other threads wait a turn.

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See Also:
  • Barrel Processor - Growing article, with links to many related topics. [Wikipedia
  • Gamma 60 - Introductory analysis, translated from French, by Jean Bellec.
  • Bull Gamma 60, 1958 - Design analysis, with references, links, PostScript download, by Mark Smotherman, components computer science professor, Clemson University.
  • Soft Peripherals - Article describes Ubicom IP3023 processor. It appears to components have built-in Ethernet interface, USB controller, PCI and components ISA bus interfaces, PCMCIA slot, synchronous DRAM controller, components set of UARTs, etc., but does it all components by software.

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