A question about Computer Architecture

Robert Sherry <rsherry8@comcast.net>
29 Jan 2003 23:41:23 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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A question about Computer Architecture rsherry8@comcast.net (Robert Sherry) (2003-01-29)
Re: A question about Computer Architecture david.thompson1@worldnet.att.net (David Thompson) (2003-02-06)
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From: Robert Sherry <rsherry8@comcast.net>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 29 Jan 2003 23:41:23 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: arithmetic, architecture, question, comment
Posted-Date: 29 Jan 2003 23:41:23 EST

Floating-point computations on the Pentium are done using a stack
which consists of 8 80-bit registers. In addition, there are
instructions that enable the processor to look into the stack. For
example, you can add to the top of the stack, to the fourth element on
the stack. Overall, I feel using stack architectures for numerically
intense computation makes a lot of sense.

        Currently, I am working on a paper that I am hoping to submit for
publication, on how a compiler can take advantage of the instruction I
described above.

        I would like to know if there are any architectures other then the
Pentium and the X86 family that do floating point computations using a
floating point stack, and if these architectures give the user the
ability to use operands loading on the stack but are not top element
or next to the top element like the Pentium does.

        I thank the group in advance for their responses.

                        Robert Sherry
[I'd be surprised if there were any live stack architectures left
other than the x87 and the Burroughs A series, and that register
stacks are not popular these days because they make it harder to keep
common subexpressions around and it's a pain (on the x87) to be sure
you don't overflow the stack. -John]

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