Orthogonal parallel processing in vector Pascal

Paul Cockshott, Greg Michaelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the widespread adoption of parallel operations in contemporary CPU designs, their use has been restricted by a lack of appropriate programming language abstractions and development environments. To fully exploit the SIMD model of computation such operations offer, programmers depend on CPU specific machine code or implementation-dependent libraries. Here we present vector Pascal (VP), a language designed to enable the elegant and efficient expression of SIMD algorithms. VP imports into Pascal abstraction mechanisms derived from functional languages, in turn having their origins in APL. In particular, it extends all operators to work on vectors of data. The type system is also extended to handle pixels and dimensional analysis. Code generation is via the ILCG system that allows retargeting to multiple different SIMD instruction sets based on formalised descriptions of the instruction set semantics. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-41
Number of pages40
JournalComputer Languages, Systems and Structures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Data parallel
  • Image processing
  • Parallelism
  • Pascal
  • SIMD
  • Vector processing


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