Stretch processor rewires itself on the fly

— 2:57 AM on April 27, 2004

Stretch claims to have the first processor with embedded programmable logic that allows the chip to rewire itself on the fly. C|Net reports:

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company on Monday announced the S5000, which it says is the first processor that can add new instructions while operating. The chip combines an existing RISC (reduced instruction set computing) architecture with a large reconfigurable area of programmable logic called the Instruction Set Extension Fabric, ISEF. The company's own C/C++ compiler automatically spots areas in a program that require intensive computation and creates new instructions for the processor to handle those tasks.
Through the creation of new instructions, the S5000 can apparently execute some encryption or digital video processing ops in a single clock cycle, allowing the chip to outperform competition running at significantly higher clock speeds. The Stretch S5000 is initially being targeted at video, networking, security, and other application-specific environments, so don't expect such a chip inside your PC anytime soon.
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