Issue No. 03 - May/June (1991 vol. 11)
pp: 10-13, 63-73
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/40.87564
<p>The Metaflow architecture, a unified approach to maximizing the performance of superscalar microprocessors, is introduced. The Metaflow architecture exploits inherent instruction-level parallelism in conventional sequential programs by hardware means, without relying on optimizing compilers. It is based on a unified structure, the DRIS (deferred-scheduling, register-renaming instruction shelf), that manages out-of-order execution and most of the attendant problems. Coupling the DRIS with a speculative-execution mechanism that avoids conditional branch stalls results in performance limited only be inherent instruction-level parallelism and available execution resources. Although presented in the context of superscalar machines, the technique is equally applicable to a superpipelined implementation. Lightning, the first implementation of the Metaflow architecture, which executes the Sparc RISC instruction set is described.</p>
J. Spracklen, B. Lightner, M. Schultz, V. Popescu, D. Isaman and G. Gibson, "The Metaflow Architecture," in IEEE Micro, vol. 11, no. , pp. 10-13, 63-73, 1991.