Zhi Alex Ye, Andreas Moshovos, Scott Hauck, Prithviraj Banerjee
2000 Proceedings of the 27th annual international symposium on Computer architecture - ISCA '00  
Reconfigurable hardware has the potential for significant performance improvements by providing support for application−specific operations. We report our experience with Chimaera, a prototype system that integrates a small and fast reconfigurable functional unit (RFU) into the pipeline of an aggressive, dynamically−scheduled superscalar processor. Chimaera is capable of performing 9−input/1−output operations on integer data. We discuss the Chimaera C compiler that automatically maps
more » ... s for execution in the RFU. Chimaera is capable of: (1) collapsing a set of instructions into RFU operations, (2) converting control−flow into RFU operations, and (3) supporting a more powerful fine−grain data−parallel model than that supported by current multimedia extension instruction sets (for integer operations). Using a set of multimedia and communication applications we show that even with simple optimizations, the Chimaera C compiler is able to map 22% of all instructions to the RFU on the average. A variety of computations are mapped into RFU operations ranging from as simple as add/sub−shift pairs to operations of more than 10 instructions including several branches. Timing experiments demonstrate that for a 4−way out−of−order superscalar processor Chimaera results in average performance improvements of 21%, assuming a very aggressive core processor design (most pessimistic RFU latency model) and communication overheads from and to the RFU.
doi:10.1145/339647.339687 fatcat:bzisrdfvsfhobg7wte7y3vibce