By James Larus
Communications of the ACM,
Vol. 60 No. 12, Page 87
Standardized interfaces play an important role in many industries; for example, a processor's instruction set architecture (ISA) defines the interface between hardware and software. A stable, well-defined interface facilitates independent innovation on both sides of the boundary. Unchanging (or slowly changing) ISAs have meant that new programming languages, compilers, and applications can run on old computers. At the same time, new computers, with improved microarchitectures, can run existing programs faster.
Recently, however, processors have been extended with a wide range of architecturally visible features that change their ISA, for example, support for vector processing, virtual memory, cryptography, and secure execution.
No entries found
Log in to Read the Full Article
Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.
Create a Web Account
If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.
Join the ACM
Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine
Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.
Purchase the Article
Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.