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Unformatted text preview: tion of IA32 support for ﬂoating-point code. This is a particularly arcane feature of IA32, and so we advise that only people determined to work with ﬂoating-point code attempt to study this section. We give a brief presentation of GCC’s support for embedding assembly code within C programs. In some applications, the programmer must drop down to assembly code to access low-level features of the machine. Embedded assembly is the best way to do this. 3.1 A Historical Perspective
The Intel processor line has a long, evolutionary development. It started with one of the ﬁrst single-chip, 16bit microprocessors, where many compromises had to be made due to the limited capabilities of integrated 3.1. A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 91 circuit technology at the time. Since then it has grown to take advantage of technology improvements as well as to satisfy the demands for higher performance and for supporting more advanced operating systems. The following list shows the successive models of Intel processors, and some of their key features. We use the number of transistors required to implement the processors as an indication of how they have...
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