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Dynamic and transparent binary translation

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5 Author(s)
Gschwind, M. ; IBM Thomas J. Watson Res. Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA ; Altman, Erik R. ; Sathaye, S. ; Ledak, P.
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High-frequency design and instruction-level parallelism (ILP) are important for high-performance microprocessor implementations. The Binary-translation Optimized Architecture (BOA), an implementation of the IBM PowerPC family, combines binary translation with dynamic optimization. The authors use these techniques to simplify the hardware by bridging a semantic gap between the PowerPC's reduced instruction set and even simpler hardware primitives. Processors like the Pentium Pro and Power4 have tried to achieve high frequency and ILP by implementing a cracking scheme in hardware: an instruction decoder in the pipeline generates multiple micro-operations that can then be scheduled out of order. BOA relies on an alternative software approach to decompose complex operations and to generate schedules, and thus offers significant advantages over purely static compilation approaches. This article explains BOA's translation strategy, detailing system issues and architecture implementation

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 3 )