The present day multimedia applications (MMAs) are
driving the computing industry as every application being
developed is using multimedia in one or the other way.
Computer architects are building computer systems with
powerful processors to handle the MMAs. There have
been tremendous changes in the design of the processors
to handle different types of MMAs. We see a lot of such
application specific processors today in the industry;
different architectures have been proposed for processing
MMAs such as VLIW, superscalar (general-purpose
processor enhanced with a multimedia extension such as
MMX), vector architecture, SIMD architectures, and
reconfigurable computing devices. Many of the General
Purpose Processors (GPPs) require coprocessors to handle
graphics and sound and usually those processors are either
expensive or incompatible. Keeping these and the
demands MMAs in mind designers have made changes to
GPPs; many GPP Vendors have added instructions to their
Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). All these processors
use similar techniques to execute multimedia instructions.
This survey paper investigates the enhancements made to
the GPPS in their general Architecture as well as the ISA.
We will present the many different techniques used by
GPP designers to handle MMAs, the present day GPP
available architectures, compare different techniques, and
concludes this survey.