Flynn’s Taxonomy


Flynn’s taxonomy is a classification of computer architectures, proposed by Michael J. Flynn in 1966. This classification is based on the number of instructions that run simultaneous and concurrent, as well as data flow processing. In Flynn’s Taxonomy, computers are divided into four classes, namely

  • Single Instruction, Single Data stream (SISD)
single instruction single data

single instruction single data

A sequential computer which exploits no parallelism in either the instruction or data streams. Single control unit (CU) fetches single Instruction Stream (IS) from memory. The CU then generates appropriate control signals to direct single processing element (PE) to operate on single Data Stream (DS) i.e. one operation at a time

Examples of SISD architecture are the traditional uniprocessor machines like a PC (currently manufactured PCs have multiple processors) or old mainframes.

In computing, SISD (single instruction, single data) is a term referring to a computer architecture in which a single processor, a uniprocessor, executes a single instruction stream, to operate on data stored in a single memory. This corresponds to the von Neumann architecture.

SISD is one of the four main classifications as defined in Flynn’s taxonomy. In this system classifications are based upon the number of concurrent instructions and data streams present in the computer architecture. According to Michael J. Flynn, SISD can have concurrent processing characteristics. Instruction fetching and pipelined execution of instructions are common examples found in most modern SISD computers.

  • Single Instruction, Multiple Data streams (SIMD)
single instruction multiple data

single instruction multiple data

A computer which exploits multiple data streams against a single instruction stream to perform operations which may be naturally parallel. For example, an array processor or GPU.

Single instruction, multiple data (SIMD), is a class of parallel computers in Flynn’s taxonomy. It describes computers with multiple processing elements that perform the same operation on multiple data points simultaneously. Thus, such machines exploit data level parallelism. SIMD is particularly applicable to common tasks like adjusting the contrast in a digital image or adjusting the volume of digital audio. Most modern CPU designs include SIMD instructions in order to improve the performance of multimedia use.

  • Multiple Instruction, Single Data stream (MISD)
multiple instruction single data

multiple instruction single data

Multiple instructions operate on a single data stream. Uncommon architecture which is generally used for fault tolerance. Heterogeneous systems operate on the same data stream and must agree on the result. Examples include the Space Shuttle flight control computer.

In computing, MISD (multiple instruction, single data) is a type of parallel computing architecture where many functional units perform different operations on the same data. Pipeline architectures belong to this type, though a purist might say that the data is different after processing by each stage in the pipeline. Fault-tolerant computers executing the same instructions redundantly in order to detect and mask errors, in a manner known as task replication, may be considered to belong to this type. Not many instances of this architecture exist, as MIMD and SIMD are often more appropriate for common data parallel techniques. Specifically, they allow better scaling and use of computational resources than MISD does. However, one prominent example of MISD in computing are the Space Shuttle flight control computers.

  • Multiple Instruction, Multiple Data streams (MIMD)
multiple instruction multiple data

multiple instruction multiple data

Multiple autonomous processors simultaneously executing different instructions on different data. Distributed systems are generally recognized to be MIMD architectures; either exploiting a single shared memory space or a distributed memory space. A multi-core superscalar processor is an MIMD processor.

In computing, MIMD (multiple instruction, multiple data) is a technique employed to achieve parallelism. Machines using MIMD have a number ofprocessors that function asynchronously and independently. At any time, different processors may be executing different instructions on different pieces of data. MIMD architectures may be used in a number of application areas such as computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, simulation,modeling, and as communication switches. MIMD machines can be of either shared memory or distributed memory categories. These classifications are based on how MIMD processors access memory. Shared memory machines may be of the bus-based, extended, or hierarchical type. Distributed memory machines may have hypercube or mesh interconnection schemes.

This note’s for my study
Reference : wikipedia

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