Chapter 39½ Implementation and Performance Evaluation of the PDP-1 1 Family 671
the only feedback path in all midrange PDP-11 implementations except the 11/60 and acts as an input to all major processor registers.
The internal registers lie at the beginning of the data paths. The instruction register (IR) contains the current instruction. The bus address register (BA) holds the address placed on the Unibus by the processor. The program status register (PS) contains the processor priority, memory-management-unit modes, condition code flags, and instruction trace-trap enable bit. The scratch-pad memory (SPM) is an array of 16 individually addressable registers which include the general registers (R0 to R7) plus a number of internal registers not accessible to the programmer. The B register (Breg) is used to hold the B leg operand supplied to the ALU.
The variations from this archetype are surprisingly minor. The most frequently used elements (such as the ALU and SPM) are relatively fixed in their position in the data paths from implementation to implementation. Elements which are less frequently used, and hence have less of an impact on performance, can he seen to occupy positions which vary more between implementations. Variations to be encountered include routings for the bus address and processor status register; the point of generation for certain constants; the position of the byte swapper, sign extender, and rotate/shift logic; and the use of certain auxiliary registers present in some designs and not others.
3.1.2 Control Unit. The control unit for all PDP-11 processors (with the exception of the PDP-11/20) is microprogrammed [Wilkes and Stringer, 1953]. The considerations leading to the use of this style of control implementation in the PDP-11 are discussed in O'Loughlin . The major advantage of microprogramming is flexibility in the derivation of control signals to gate register transfers, to synchronize with Unibus logic, to control microcycle timing, and to evoke changes in control flow. The way in which a microprogrammed control unit accomplishes all of these actions impacts performance.
Figure 4 represents the archetypical PDP-11 microprogrammed control
unit. The contents of the microaddress register determine the current control-unit
state and are used to access the next microinstruction word from the control
store. Pulses from the clock generator strobe the microword and microaddress
registers, loading them with the next microword and next microaddress,
respectively. Repeated clock pulses thus cause the control unit to sequence
through a series of states. The period spent by the control unit in one
state is called a microcycle (or simply cycle when this does
not lead to confusion with memory or instruction cycles), and the duration
of the state as determined by the clock is known as the cycle time.
The microword register shortens cycle time by allowing the next micro-
word to be fetched from the control store while the current microword is
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