Version française
Home     About     Download     Resources     Contact us    

This site is updated infrequently. For up-to-date information, please visit the new OCaml website at

Browse thread
More registers in modern day CPUs
[ Home ] [ Index: by date | by threads ]
[ Search: ]

[ Message by date: previous | next ] [ Message in thread: previous | next ] [ Thread: previous | next ]
Date: 2007-09-06 (20:48)
From: Richard Jones <rich@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] More registers in modern day CPUs
On Thu, Sep 06, 2007 at 10:55:20AM -0400, Chris King wrote:
> On 9/6/07, Tom <> wrote:
> > However, would it be possible to "emulate" cpu registers using software? By
> > keeping registers in the main memory, but accessing them often enough to
> > keep them in primary cache? That would be quite fast I believe...
> This makes me wonder... why have registers to begin with?  I wonder
> how feasible a chip with a, say, 256-byte "register-level" cache would

The 6502 was a successful 8-bit processor where the "on chip"
registers were very few, but the first part of RAM acted as memory
mapped registers.

This is not feasible in current chips for a whole variety of reasons,
starting with the fact that current RAM is hundreds of times slower
than registers (and even L1 cache is 4-8 times slower).

You should read "Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach" by
Hennessy & Patterson.


Richard Jones
Red Hat