by Donald E. Knuth
MMIX is a computer intended to illustrate machine-level aspects of programming. MMIX's so called RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer") architecture is much better able to represent the computers being built at the turn of the millennium.
This book is a collection of programs that make MMIX a virtual reality. One of the programs is an assembler, MMIXAL, which converts MMIX symbolic les to MMIX object fi les. There also are two simulators, which execute the programs in given object files.
The first simulator, called MMIX-SIM or simply MMIX, executes a program one instruction at a time and allows convenient debugging. The second simulator, MMMIX, simulates a high-performance pipeline in which many aspects of the computation are overlapped in time. MMMIX is in fact a highly con figurable meta-simulator," capable of simulating an enormous variety of di erent kinds of pipelines with any number of functional units and with many possible strategies for caching, virtual address translation, branch prediction, super-scalar instruction issue, etc., etc.
The programs in this book are somewhat primitive, because they all are based on a simple terminal interface: Users type commands and the computer types out a reply. Still, these programs are adequate to provide a basis for future developments. I'm hoping that at least one reader of this book will discover how much fun MMIX programming can be and will be motivated to create a nice graphical interface, so that other people will more easily be able to join in the fun. I don't have the time or talent to construct a good GUI myself, but I've tried to write the programs in such a way that modi cations and enhancements will be easy to make.
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