The design of VLSI processors is dramatically affected by the constraints of the fabrication technology. The speed/complexity tradeoffs are extremely important and difficult to resolve. Additional chip functionality requires more area, and often slows down every other function of the chip. This slowdown arises from increased control logic complexity and increased capacitance loading on the wires. The decrease in overall speed can negate the desired improvement in machine performance. To prevent this from occurring in MIPS-X, our overall design philosophy was to keep the processor as simple as possible. When new features, like coprocessor support, were added, the goal was to add the minimum required to accomplish the task.
KeywordsUser Space Program Counter Exception Handling Memory Instruction Instruction Cache
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