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Write Great Code by Randall Hyde

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Chapter 9. CPU Architecture

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Great code is aware of the underlying hardware on which it executes. Without question, the design of the central processing unit (CPU) has the greatest impact on the performance of your software. This chapter, and the next, discuss the design of CPUs and their instruction sets — information that is absolutely crucial for writing high-performance software.

9.1 Basic CPU Design

A CPU is capable of executing a set of commands (or machine instructions), each of which accomplishes some small task. To execute a particular instruction, a CPU requires a certain amount of electronic circuitry specific to that instruction. Therefore, ...

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