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Speeding up control-dominated applications through microarchitectural customizations in embedded processors

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2 Author(s)
Petrov, P. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., California Univ., San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA ; Orailoglu, A.

We present a methodology for microarchitectural customization of embedded processors by exploiting application information, thus attaining the twin benefits of processor standardization and application-specific customization. Such powerful techniques enable increased application fragments to be placed on the processor, with no sacrifice in system requirements, thus reducing the custom hardware and the concomitant area requirements in SOCs. We illustrate these ideas through the branch resolution problem, known to impose severe performance degradation on control-dominated embedded applications. A low-cost late customizable hardware that uses application information to fold out a set of frequently executed branches is described. Experimental results show that for a representative set of control dominated applications a reduction in the range of 7%-22% in processor cycles can be achieved, thus extending the scope of low-cost embedded processors in complex co-designs for control intensive systems.

Published in:

Design Automation Conference, 2001. Proceedings

Date of Conference:

2001