Patent Number: 6,170,051

Title: Apparatus and method for program level parallelism in a VLIW processor

Abstract: A very long instruction word (VLIW) processor exploits program level parallelism as well as instruction level parallelism. Unlike prior VLIW machines which obtain speed advantages using instruction level parallelism, the present processor exploits the parallelism inherent in a VLIW processor by providing new instruction level mechanisms to separate processor execution into parallel threads. This separation allows greater hardware use because more than one program can exploit instruction level parallelism on the system at the same time. A first program and a second program execute concurrently such that the second program executes using resources and cycles that would have been wasted by the first program. This construct is especially useful where the second program is an interrupt service routine because the interrupt service routine can be threaded through the machine with high or low priority while the functional units still process the first program stream. A superscalar version of the processor is also described.

Inventors: Dowling; Eric M. (Richardson, TX)

Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.

International Classification: G06F 9/302 (20060101); G06F 15/76 (20060101); G06F 15/78 (20060101); G06F 9/30 (20060101); G06F 9/38 (20060101); G06F 9/345 (20060101); G06F 9/34 (20060101); G06F 009/38 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018