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IEEE Computer Volume 16 Number 2 -- THE OPEN CHANNEL Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131594D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 4 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Charles McCabe: AUTHOR [+2]


THE OPEN CHANNEL * Address space unification ** Virtual communications. ** Extensible machine language. ** The programmer's algebra. * References * Op-codes

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Charles McCabe

San Francisco Chronicle

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Address space unification

Computers demonstrate man's ability to number things. They also show man's tendency to isolate things that are different in nature and later, as they are better understood, to unify these differences under a more general category.

An example of the latter tendency is address space unification. An address space is any numbered collection constituting "computer memory," such as registers, ROM, RAM, 1/0 ports, or disk sectors, with each collection having a separate space. Address space unification is a virtual address space encompassing two or more address spaces.

Address space unification is most useful on large systems devoted to the support of programming in general. As a result, the overriding factor is the uniformity and consistency of the programming environment. The abstract address space is partitioned among several computers and simulated by paging to and from disk. Program and data are usually somewhat separated; there are special locations for 1/0 devices and a special region for built-in op-codes. This approach is more useful than a variety of special op- codes, operating system calls, and subroutine calls.

Historically, at least, three address space unifications have taken place: program and data, main memory and 1/0 ports, and main memory and secondary or disk memory. Two further address space unifications are currently feasible, one of which provides virtual communications and the other, extensible machine language. provides the subroutine mechanism. Each of these unifications simplifies the set of data structures the programmer must deal with.

Virtual communications.

If the address space is large enough and communications are fast enough. which is likely with 32-bit microprocessors and fiber optics, respectively, several computers can share the same

IEEE Computer Society, Feb 01, 1983 Page 1 IEEE Computer Volume 16 Number 2, Pages 86-87

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IEEE Computer Volume 16 Number 2...