Exploring processor parallelism : estimation methods and optimization strategies

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Automatic optimization of application-specific instruction-set processor (ASIP) architectures mostly focuses on the internal memory hierarchy design, or the extension of reduced instruction-set architectures with complex custom operations. This paper focuses on very long instruction word (VLIW) architectures and, more specifically, on automating the selection of an application specific VLIW issue-width. The issue-width selection strongly influences all the important processor properties (e.g. processing speed, silicon area, and power consumption). Therefore, an accurate and efficient issue-width estimation and optimization are some of the most important aspects of VLIW ASIP design. In this paper, we first compare different methods for the estimation of required the issue-width, and subsequently introduce a new force-based parallelism estimation method which is capable of estimating the required issue-width with only 3% error on average. Furthermore, we present and compare two techniques for estimating the required issue-width of software pipelined loop kernels and show that a simple utilization-based measure provides an error margin of less than 1% on average.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
JournalInternational Journal of Microelectronics and Computer Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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