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Performance simulation of an Alpha microprocessor

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2 Author(s)
Reilly, M. ; Digital Equipment Corp., Shrewsbury, MA, USA ; Edmondson, J.

Although producing a finished microprocessor takes the effort of many engineers in many disciplines, the first step requires that an architecture team sketch out the organization of a better, faster and cheaper chip. This effort involves searching for a solution to a design problem in a space of possible solutions. Some solutions in the space are bad, some are better, only a few are satisfactory. The goal is to find the solution that satisfies the product goals. The architecture team must invent and refine the design until it converges on an implementable architecture. In designing Digital's Alpha processors, our teams are guided in large part by an executable performance model. The model allows us to measure the effect or utility of each invention and improvement. We describe the performance model that guides one of our current Alpha processor design projects

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 5 )