Widening resources: a cost-effective technique for aggressive ILP architectures
Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
The inherent instruction-level parallelism (ILP) of current applications (specially those based on floating point computations) has driven hardware designers and compilers writers to investigate aggressive techniques for exploiting program parallelism at the lowest level. To execute more operations per cycle, many processors are designed with growing degrees of resource replication (buses and functional units). However the high cost in terms of area and cycle time of this technique precludes the use of high degrees of replication. An alternative to resource replication is resource widening, that has also been used in some recent designs, in which the width of the resources is increased. In this paper we evaluate a broad set of design alternatives that combine both replication and widening. For each alternative we perform an estimation of the ILP limits (including the impact of spill code for several register file configurations) and the cost in terms of area and access time of the register file. We also perform a technological projection for the next 10 years in order to foresee the possible implementable alternatives. From this study we conclude that if the cost is taken into account, the best performance is obtained when combining certain degrees of replication and widening in the hardware resources. The results have been obtained from a large number of inner loops from numerical programs scheduled for VLIW architectures
CitationLópez, D., Llosa, J., Valero, M., Ayguadé, E. Widening resources: a cost-effective technique for aggressive ILP architectures. A: Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture. "31st Annual Acm/IEEE International Symposium on Microarchitecture: November30-December 2, 1998, Westin Park Central, Dallas, Texas: proceedings". Dallas, TX: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 1998, p. 237-246.