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This paper presents a new code optimization technique for a class of embedded processors. Modern embedded processor architectures show deep instruction pipelines and highly parallel VLIW-like instruction sets. For such architectures, any change in the control flow of a machine program due to a conditional jump may cause a significant code performance penalty. Therefore, the instruction sets of recent VLIW machines offer support for branch-free execution of conditional statements in the form of so-called conditional instructions. Whether an if-then-else statement is implemented by a conditional jump scheme or by conditional instructions has a strong impact on its worst-case execution time. However the optimal selection is difficult particularly for nested conditionals. We present a dynamic programming technique for selecting the fastest implementation for nested if-then-else statements based on estimations. The efficacy is demonstrated for a real-life VLIW DSP.
Date of Conference: 9-12 March 1999