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Fast and accurate instruction fetch and branch prediction

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2 Author(s)
Calder, B. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Colorado Univ., Boulder, CO, USA ; Grunwald, D.

Accurate branch prediction is critical to performance; mispredicted branches mean that ten's of cycles may be wasted in superscalar architectures. Architectures combining very effective branch prediction mechanisms coupled with modified branch target buffers (BTB's) have been proposed for wide-issue processors. These mechanisms require considerable processor resources. Concurrently, the larger address space of 64-bit architectures introduce new obstacles and opportunities. A larger address space means branch target buffers become more expensive. The authors show how a combination of less expensive mechanisms can achieve better performance than BTB's. This combination relies on a number of design choices described in the paper. They used trace-driven simulation to show that their proposed design, which uses fewer resources, offers better performance than previously proposed alternatives for most programs, and indicate how to further improve this design

Published in:

Computer Architecture, 1994., Proceedings the 21st Annual International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

18-21 Apr 1994