Reading Assignment and Discussion Topics
Computer Science 471

for class on Thursday Dec. 12, 1996

Please read or re-read the following sections of the Patterson & Hennessy text: 1.5, 2.6, 3.12, 4.9, 5.7 (the first one), 6.8, 6.9, 7.6, and 9.9. Total pages: about 25. These are mainly the ``Real Stuff'' sections of each chapter; please focus on the Pentium Pro, and feel free to ignore the PowerPC. Be prepared to discuss the following issues:

The Pentium Pro and the MIPS R10000 are comparable in many ways: they use about the same level of semiconductor technology; they have very similar clock rates; both designs use register renaming and issue multiple instructions out-of-order to about the same number and type of functional units.

Their instruction-set architectures, however, are quite different: one is a RISC exemplar, while the other is the one remaining viable CISC architecture. How do you think the architectural differences affect the design? Or, to put it another way, what design differences can you attribute to the requirements of the architecture?