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Computer Organization and Architecture. CPU Structure and Function. CPU Structure. CPU must: Fetch instructions: The CPU reads an instruction from memory. Interpret instructions: The instruction is decoded to determine what action is required.

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Computer Organization and Architecture

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computer organization and architecture

Computer Organization and Architecture

CPU Structure and Function

cpu structure
CPU Structure
  • CPU must:
    • Fetch instructions: The CPU reads an instruction from memory.
    • Interpret instructions: The instruction is decoded to determine what action is required.
    • Fetch data: The execution of an instruction may require reading data from memory or an I/O module.
    • Process data: The execution of an instruction may require performing some arithmetic or logical operation on data.
    • Write data: The results of an execution may require writing data to memory or an I/O module.
  • CPU must have some working space (temporary storage)
  • Called registers
  • Number and function vary between processor designs
  • One of the major design decisions
  • Top level of memory hierarchy

The registers in the CPU perform two roles:

  • User-visible registers
  • Control and status registers
user visible registers
User Visible Registers

A user-visible register is one that may be referenced by means of the machine language that the CPU executes. Can be characterized into the following categories:

  • General Purpose
  • Data
  • Address
  • Condition Codes (flags)
general purpose registers 1
General Purpose Registers (1)
  • General purpose registers can be assigned to a variety of functions by the programmer.
  • May be true general purpose
  • May be restricted
  • May be used for data or addressing
  • Data
    • Accumulator
  • Addressing
    • Segment
general purpose registers 2
General Purpose Registers (2)
  • Make them general purpose
    • Increase flexibility and programmer options
    • Increase instruction size & complexity
  • Make them specialized
    • Smaller (faster) instructions
    • Less flexibility
how many gp registers
How Many GP Registers?
  • Between 8 - 32
  • Fewer = more memory references
  • More does not reduce memory references and takes up processor real estate
  • There is, however, a new approach which finds advantage of the use of hundreds of registers exhibited in some RISC systems.
how big
How big?
  • Address registers should be large enough to hold full address
  • Data registers should be large enough to hold full word
  • Often possible to combine two data registers
    • C programming
    • double int a;
    • long int a;
condition code registers
Condition Code Registers
  • Sets of individual bits
    • e.g. result of last operation was zero
  • Can be read (implicitly) by programs
    • e.g. Jump if zero
  • Can not (usually) be set by programs
control status registers
Control & Status Registers
  • There are a number of CPU registers employed to control its operation.
  • Are not visible to the user on most machines. Some may be visible to to machine instructions executed in a control or operating system mode.
  • Four registers are essential to instruction execution:
  • Program Counter
  • Instruction Decoding Register
  • Memory Address Register
  • Memory Buffer Register
control status registers1
Control & Status Registers
  • Program Counter (PC): Contains the address of an instruction to be fetched.
  • Instruction Decoding Register or Instruction Register (IR): Contains the instruction most recently fetched.
  • Memory Address Register (MAR): Contains the address of a location in memory.
  • Memory Buffer Register (MBR): Contains a word of data to be written to memory or the word most recently read.
  • In a bus-organized system, the MAR connects directly to the address bus, and the MBR connects directly to the data bus.
program status word
Program Status Word
  • All CPU designs include a register or set of registers, often known as the program status word (PSW), that contain status information.
  • The PSW typically contains condition codes plus other status information.
  • Common fields or flags include the following:
  • Sign of last result
  • Zero
  • Carry
  • Equal
  • Overflow
  • Interrupt enable/disable
  • Supervisor (Indicates if CPU is executing in supervisor or user mode. Certain privileged instructions can be executed in only supervisor mode, and certain areas memory can be accessed only in supervisor mode.)
instruction cycle
Instruction Cycle

Indirect Cycle

  • May require memory access to fetch operands
  • Indirect addressing requires more memory accesses
  • Can be thought of as additional instruction subcycle
data flow instruction fetch
Data Flow (Instruction Fetch)
  • Depends on CPU design
  • In general:
  • Fetch
    • PC contains address of next instruction
    • Address moved to MAR
    • Address placed on address bus
    • Control unit requests memory read
    • Result placed on data bus, copied to MBR, then to IR
    • Meanwhile PC incremented by 1
data flow data fetch
Data Flow (Data Fetch)
  • IR is examined by the control unit
  • If indirect addressing, indirect cycle is performed
    • Right most N bits of MBR, which contain the address reference, transferred to MAR
    • Control unit requests memory read
    • Result (address of operand) moved to MBR
data flow execute
Data Flow (Execute)
  • May take many forms
  • Depends on instruction being executed
  • May include
    • Memory read/write
    • Input/Output
    • Register transfers
    • ALU operations
data flow interrupt
Data Flow (Interrupt)
  • Simple
  • Predictable
  • Current PC saved to allow resumption after interrupt
  • Contents of PC copied to MBR
  • Special memory location (e.g. stack pointer) loaded to MAR
  • MBR written to memory
  • PC loaded with address of interrupt handling routine
  • Next instruction (first of interrupt handler) can be fetched
  • Fetch accessing main memory
  • Execution usually does not access main memory
  • Can fetch next instruction during execution of current instruction
  • Called instruction prefetch
improved performance
Improved Performance
  • But not doubled:
    • Fetch usually shorter than execution
      • Prefetch more than one instruction?
    • Any jump or branch means that prefetched instructions are not the required instructions
  • Add more stages to improve performance
  • Fetch instruction
  • Decode instruction
  • Calculate operands (i.e. EAs)
  • Fetch operands
  • Execute instructions
  • Write result
  • Overlap these operations
dealing with branches
Dealing with Branches
  • A variety of approaches have been taken for dealing with conditional branches:
  • Multiple Streams
  • Prefetch Branch Target
  • Loop buffer
  • Branch prediction
  • Delayed branching
multiple streams
Multiple Streams
  • Have two pipelines
  • Prefetch each branch into a separate pipeline
  • Use appropriate pipeline
  • Leads to bus & register contention
  • Multiple branches lead to further pipelines being needed
prefetch branch target
Prefetch Branch Target
  • Target of branch is prefetched in addition to instructions following branch
  • Keep target until branch is executed
  • Used by IBM 360/91
loop buffer
Loop Buffer
  • Very fast memory
  • Maintained by fetch stage of pipeline
  • Check buffer before fetching from memory
  • Very good for small loops or jumps
  • c.f. cache
  • Used by CRAY-1
branch prediction 1
Branch Prediction (1)
  • Predict never taken
    • Assume that jump will not happen
    • Always fetch next instruction
    • 68020 & VAX 11/780
    • VAX will not prefetch after branch if a page fault would result (O/S v CPU design)
  • Predict always taken
    • Assume that jump will happen
    • Always fetch target instruction
branch prediction 2
Branch Prediction (2)
  • Predict by Opcode
    • Some instructions are more likely to result in a jump than others
    • Can get up to 75% success
  • Taken/Not taken switch
    • Based on previous history
    • Good for loops
branch prediction 3
Branch Prediction (3)
  • Delayed Branch
    • Do not take jump until you have to
    • Rearrange instructions