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Solaris™ Application Programming by Darryl Gove

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Chapter 1. The Generic Processor

Chapter Objectives

In the simplest terms, a processor fetches instructions from memory and acts on them, fetching data from or sending results to memory as needed. However, this description misses many of the important details that determine application performance. This chapter describes a “generic” processor; that is, it covers, in general terms, how processors work and what components they have. By the end of the chapter, the reader will be familiar with the terminology surrounding processors, and will understand some of the approaches that are used in processor design.

The Components of a Processor

At the heart of every computer are one or more Central Processing Units (CPUs). A picture of the UltraSPARC T1 CPU ...

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