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This paper provides an overview of an experimental system developed at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. It consists of a running hardware prototype, a control program, and an optimizing compiler. The basic concepts underlying the system are discussed, as are the performance characteristics of the prototype. In particular, three principles are examined: (1) system orientation towards the pervasive use of high-level language programming and a sophisticated compiler, (2) a primitive instruction set which can be completely hard-wired, and (3) storage hierarchy and I/O organization to enable the CPU to execute an instruction at almost every cycle.
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