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Multithreading with distributed functional units

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1 Author(s)
Gunther, B.K. ; Adv. Comput. Res. Centre, South Australia Univ., Adelaide, SA, Australia

Multithreaded processors multiplex the execution of a number of concurrent threads onto the hardware in order to hide latencies associated with memory access, synchronization, and arithmetic operations. Conventional multithreading aims to maximize throughput in a single instruction pipeline whose execution stages are served by a collection of centralized functional units. This paper examines a multithreaded microarchitecture where the heterogeneous functional unit set is expanded so that units may be distributed and partly shared across several instruction pipelines operating simultaneously, thereby allowing greater exploitation of interthread parallelism in improving utilization factors of costly resources. The multiple pipeline approach is studied specifically in the Concurro processor architecture-a machine supporting multiple thread contexts and capable of context switching asynchronously in response to dynamic data and resource availability

Published in:

Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 4 )