This book takes up the challenge offered by recent advances in theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence that have created a demand for a radically different type of computer architecture. It demonstrates the possibility of register transfer level parallel computing with microprogrammable flexible architecture that can fulfill a wide variety of user requirements, and provides all the necessary technical information to understand the process of design, development, and evaluation of this innovative MUNAP computer. After introducing the basic concepts in the computer architecture and microprogramming area, the book describes how the architect goes about selecting microoperations, considering software/firmware/hardware tradeoffs and what schemes might be used for interleaved memory access and interconnection network. Microprogrammed computer models are defined for the evaluation of computers with similar architectures. Microprogrammable Parallel Computer presents the results of exhaustive experimentations with this architecture showing how it can be exploited in current research on emulation of a machine language, tagged architectures, language processing for Smalltalk-80 and Prolog, software testing, database systems, 3D graphics, and numerical computation.
Introduction • Design Principle • Basic Organization • Preliminary Evaluation • Hardware Development • Firmware Development • Applications • Architectural Evaluation and Improvement • Future Directions
Microprogrammable Parallel Computer is included in the Computer Systems Series, edited by Herb Schwetman.