[clug] assembly performance
mbp at sourcefrog.net
Fri Jun 10 01:32:18 GMT 2005
On 8 Jun 2005, Adrian Blake <A.Blake at physics.usyd.edu.au> wrote:
> This is a question about microprocessor architecture.
> 10 or 20 years ago assembly code addressed physical hardware, registers
> ALUs and alike with an underlying simple microcode.
> This has changed. but to what extent?
> Does assembly code still operate on the physical hardware or is it a
> virtual machine with one or more layers of microcode?
I think any modern large processor has some degree of microcoding.
Whether that makes it a virtual machine or not rather depends on which
definition you choose to use.
> What are the performance penalties if any?
Penalties compared to what? One could presumably always make chips
faster by adding more gates and/or spending more time on low-level
design rather than using microcode, but at what price?
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