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I currently have vector processors in class and wondered whether a vector processor only issues one (vector) instruction per cycle (in order processor). Maybe this question is stupid and it depends solely on the individual processor, however, it would be nice if someone could explain this in a bit more detail.

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A vector processor is usually¹ defined as a processor which has instructions that are meant to operate on vectors.

Whether or not these instructions take one or multiple cycles, whether they even might have a throughput under some situations that is higher than one instruction per cycle, whether or not there's even a pipeline at all: all up to the individual processor design.


¹ you need to check the definition used in your class, as with everything.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ can one call a processor that issues more than one instruction per cycle still an in-order processor? Meaning that if instruction A comes after instruction B (assume that they are independent) but the processor runs them in parallel without a cycle delay, is this still in-order? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rhi
    Jul 5, 2021 at 16:30
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A single instruction per cycle on a vector CPU can execute an array x wide by y depth pipeline.

Implementations vary greatly for speed, depth and width tradeoffs for cost of GPU’s.

Cost/performance ratio of vector CPU’s like the Cray were attractive in the ‘80’s until Microchip came along. ;)

More details are better explained on Wiki

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