San Diego, California
June 9, 2003 to June 11, 2003
Ilhyun Kim , University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mikko H. Lipasti , University of Wisconsin-Madison
Current-generation microprocessors are designed to process instructions with one and two source operands at equal cost. Handling two source operands requires multiple ports for each instruction in structures--such as the register file and wakeup logic--which are often in the processor?s critical timing paths. We argue that these structures are overdesigned since only a small fraction of instructions require two source operands to be processed simultaneously. In this paper, we propose the half-price architecture that judiciously removes this overdesign by restricting the processor?s capability to handle two source operands in certain timing-critical cases. Two techniques are proposed and evaluated: one for the wakeup logic is sequential wakeup, which decouples half of the tag matching logic from the wakeup bus to reduce the load capacitance of the bus. The other technique for the register file is sequential register access, which halves the register read ports by sequentially accessing two values using a single port when needed. We show that a pipeline that optimizes scheduling and register access for a single operand achieves nearly the same performance as an ideal base machine that fully handles two operands, with 2.2% (worst case 4.8%) IPC degradation.
Ilhyun Kim, Mikko H. Lipasti, "Half-Price Architecture", ISCA, 2003, Computer Architecture, International Symposium on, Computer Architecture, International Symposium on 2003, pp. 28, doi:10.1109/ISCA.2003.1206986