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Hardware Stack Overflow Monitor Disclosure Number: IPCOM000066460D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-19

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Houghtalen, SR [+details]


Processors, and especially microprocessors, often use an internal memory stack to store and fetch data. The stack is controlled by both the programmer and the hardware, with the programmer setting and reading the stack pointer and the hardware automatically incrementing or decrementing the stack pointer when a "push" or "pop" command is issued. While this stack concept is very useful, it has one significant disadvantage in that through a program error it is possible to destroy the the contents of large amounts of storage or even to destroy the entire storage area. This can occur because there is no hardware checking of the stack boundary crossing conditions and, therefore, there is no memory protection.