I'm doing some independent research/study with a professor who's a very functional guy. The goal is to examine more of what's happening behind the scenes with functional languages than we normally would during the course of the class I'm also taking with him (in which we're writing interpreters). The independent course will go beyond the interpreter level and look at how we might translate some of the concepts to a hardware machine.
Specifically, my professor mentioned two books, Functional Programming: Application and Implementation by Peter Henderson -- which covers the SECD machine (an idealized machine for functional computing), and The Implementation of Functional Programming Languages by Simon Peyton Jones -- which covers the SKI machine (and of course combinators).
From the poking around I've done, these two books seem pretty legendary in the functional programming world -- which is great (I still think K&R is one of the best C books). But, both books are also more than 30 years old. I'm curious if there has been any further research or instructive literature produced regarding these topics. It would also be interesting to know if any of these concepts are making their way into modern compilers and close-to-the-kernel interpreters.