Stack Machines

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sat Oct 21 11:42:43 CDT 2006

On 21 Oct 2006 at 12:07, Ray Arachelian wrote:

> Stack based machines can be very fast, and depending on their design
> much faster than IA32/IA64.  The idea is to use the stack instead of
> registers, or as registers, and to have a large stack.  Most of the
> stack lives in L1 cache, and is almost as fast as a large RISC register
> file.

...and at some point, the stack overlows the L1 cache and degrades to 
memory-to-memory speed, no?

While it's true that stack-based architectures can provide a lot of 
bang-for-the-buck, like single-accumulator machines, it's difficult 
to leverage parallelsim to improve performance.

I'd venture that it's awfully difficult to design a stack machine 
that can compete with a 3-address architecture with a large register 
file, multiple pipelined functional units and instruction scheduling.

Would you consider the Burroughs B5000 to be a stack machine?


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