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Part 4

The instruction-set processor level: special-function processors

This part contains descriptions of processors that do not interpret general programming languages; that is, they are not Pc's. They are all Ps, however, since they have an interpreter that determines not only the operations to be taken, given the current instruction, but the next instruction to be obtained.

A Pio (Sec. 1) is a processor that controls T and Ms components. It manages block or vector transmission between Ms or T and Mp.

A P.array (Sec. 2) processes both vectors and two-dimensional matrices. By recognizing these data as fundamental units, programs (or algorithms) can be expressed efficiently in terms of primitive operators. The chief advantage of these P's is their ability to take advantage of the data structure for parallel interpretation, thereby increasing processing speed.

A microprogram processor (Sec. 3) is designed to interpret and process a data-type which is a program. In effect, this processor is a computer within another computer, programmed to act as an interpreter.

A language processor (Sec. 4) interprets a data-type derived from the primitives of a programming language. In contrast, a conventional processor interprets a language based on fundamental hardware implementation primitives. The difference is clearly apparent as increased complexity of the language processors.


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