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Proceedings Paper

Grundy: Parallel Processor Architecture Makes Programming Easy
Author(s): Robert J. Meier
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Paper Abstract

Grundy, an architecture for parallel processing, facilitates the use of high-level languages. In Grundy, several thousand simple processors are dispersed throughout the address space and the concept of machine state is replaced by an invokation frame, a data structure of local variables, program counter, and pointers to superprocesses (parents), subprocesses (children), and concurrent processes (siblings). Each instruction execution consists of five phases. An instruction is fetched, the instruction is decoded, the sources are fetched, the operation is performed, and the destination is written. This breakdown of operations is easily pipelinable. The instruction format of Grundy is completely orthogonal, so Grundy machine code consists of a set of register transfer control bits. The process state pointers are used to collect unused resources such as processors and memory. Joseph Mahon[1] found that as the degree of physical parallelism increases, throughput, including overhead, increases even if extra overhead is needed to split logical processes. As stack pointer, accumulators, and index registers facilitate using high-level languages on conventional computers, pointers to parents, children, and siblings simplify the use of a run-time operating system. The ability to ignore the physical structure of a large number of simple processors supports the use of structured programming. A very simple processor cell allows the replication of approximately 16 32-bit processors on a single Very Large Scale Integration chip. (2M lambda[2]) A bootstrapper and Input/Output channels can be hardwired (using ROM cells and pseudo-processor cells) into a 100 chip computer that is expected to have over 500 procesors, 500K memory, and a network supporting up to 64 concurrent messages between 1000 nodes. These sizes are merely typical and not limits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 December 1985
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0579, Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision IV, (11 December 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.950812
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Meier, Ames Research Center (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0579:
Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision IV
David P. Casasent, Editor(s)

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