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Processing unit incorporating special purpose register for use with instruction-based persistent vector multiplexer control

Image Number 10 for United States Patent #7904700.

A software-accessible special purpose register is architected into a processing unit in order to implement persistent vector multiplexer control of a vector-based execution unit. A persistent swizzle instruction is defined in an instruction set for the vector-based execution unit and is used to cause state information to be stored in the special purpose register such that the operand vectors processed by subsequent vector instructions executed by the vector-based execution unit will be selectively shuffled using the persisted state information. As a result, when multiple vector instructions require a common custom word ordering for one or more operand vectors, a single persistent swizzle instruction may be used to select the desired custom word ordering for all of the vector instructions.

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