Fast procedure calls

Butler Lampson


Citation: Proc. 1st International Symposium on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ACM Sigplan Notices 17, 4 (Apr. 1982), pp 66-75.

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A mechanism for control transfers should handle a variety of applications (e.g., procedure calls and returns, coroutine transfers, exceptions, process switches) in a uniform way.  It should also allow an implementation in which the common cases of procedure call and return are extremely fast, preferably as fast as unconditional jumps in the normal case. This paper describes such a mechanism and methods for its efficient implementation.