Many exciting developments have taken place recently in the
microprocessor market. New devices range from processor chips designed for use in
analogue and digital communication systems to architectures which
readily support high-level language run-time environments and compilers.
Some such architectures have a sophistication which was quite rare in
large computers until recently.
This paper is a tutorial survey of recent products in both the low and
the high end of the microprocessor market. It explains the motivation
behind the new 16-bit devices in terms of the economic factors which drive
the market, and provides some technical background in the area of
high-level language run-time software structures which is necessary to
understand the architectures.
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