“Chap – a SIMD graphics processor” by Levinthal and Porter

  • ©Adam Levinthal and Thomas (Tom) K. Porter




    Chap - a SIMD graphics processor



    Special purpose processing systems designed for specific applications can provide extremely high performance at moderate cost. One such processor is presented for executing graphics and image processing algorithms as the basis of a digital film printer. Pixels in the system contain four parallel components: RGB for full color and an alpha channel for retaining transparency information. The data path of the processor contains four arithmetic elements connected through a crossbar network to a tessellated scratchpad memory. The single instruction, multiple data stream (SIMD) processor executes instructions on four pixel components in parallel. The instruction control unit (ICU) maintains an activity stack for tracking block-structured code, using data-dependent activity flags for conditional disabling subsets of the ALUs. Nested loops and if-then-else constructs can be programmed directly, with the ICU disabling and reenabling ALUs on the basis of their individual status bits.


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