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Automatic Design of Custom Wide-Issue Counterflow Pipelines

Childers, Bruce; Davidson, Jack
Childers, Bruce
Davidson, Jack
Application-specific processor design is a promising approach for meeting the performance and cost goals of a system. Application-specific integrated processors (ASIP's) are especially promising for embedded systems (e.g., automobile control systems, avionics, cellular phones, etc.) where a small increase in performance and decrease in cost can have a large impact on a product's viability. Sutherland, Sproull, and Molnar have proposed a new pipeline organization called the Counterflow Pipeline (CFP) that may be appropriate for ASIP design. This paper extends the original CFP microarchitecture to a very long instruction word (VLIW) organization for the custom design of instruction-level parallel processors tailored to the requirements of computation-intensive inner loops. First, we describe our extensions to the CFP to support automatic customization of application-specific VLIW processors. Second, we present an automatic design system that customizes a wide-issue counterflow pipeline (WCFP) to the resource and data flow requirements of a software pipeline loop. Third, we show that custom asynchronous WCFP's achieve cycles per operation measurements that are competitive with custom VLIW organizations at a potentially low design complexity. Finally, the paper describes several enhancements that can be made to WCFP's to further improve performance of kernel loops.
Date Received
University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, 1999
Published Date
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