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PowerPC Architecture Book
Contents:
Book I: PowerPC User Instruction Set Architecture
Book II: PowerPC Virtual Environment Architecture
Book III: PowerPC Operating Environment Architecture
About the author
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Level: Intermediate

Ed Silha (silha@us.ibm.com)
PowerPC processor architect, IBM
10 Dec 2003

This 3 volume set defines the instruction and registers used by application programs, the storage models, privileged facilities, and related instructions.

Book I: PowerPC User Instruction Set Architecture

  • This Book defines the instructions, registers, etc., typically used by application programs (for example, Branch, Load, Store, and Arithmetic instructions; general purpose and floating-point registers).
  • All Book I facilities and instructions are non-privileged ( are available in problem state).

Download the PDF (974 KB)

Book II: PowerPC Virtual Environment Architecture

  • This Book defines the storage model (caches, storage access ordering, etc.) and related instructions, such as the instructions used to manage caches and to synchronize storage accesses when storage is shared among programs running on different processors.
  • All Book II facilities and instructions are non-privileged, but they are typically used via operating-system-provided library subroutines, which application programs call as needed. For example, to acquire or release a lock an application program _could_ use the appropriate Book II instructions directly, but instead typically calls a library subroutine to provide this service.

Download the PDF (266 KB)

Book III: PowerPC Operating Environment Architecture

  • This Book defines the privileged facilities and related instructions (address translation, storage protection, interruptions, etc.).
  • Nearly all Book III facilities and instructions are privileged. (Those that are non-privileged are described also in Book I or II, but only at the level needed by application programmers. For example, the description of the System Call instruction in Book I gives only the instruction format and the fact that the instruction calls the system to perform a service. Book III provides the complete description, including information needed by operating system programmers writing the corresponding service routines.)

Download the PDF (645 KB)

Additional information may be provided in other books that describe a particular processor implementation. Such books may describe approaches to obtaining the best performance, the results produced when a software error is encountered, and so forth.

About the author
Ed Silha joined IBM in Austin, Texas, as a professional hire in 1977. He worked on manufacturing systems before joining the POWER processor architecture group in 1986. He manages the PowerPC processor architecture on which the microprocessors used in the IBM pSeries and iSeries systems are based. You can contact him at silha@us.ibm.com.



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