A Low-Complexity, High-Performance Fetch Unit for Simultaneous Multithreading Processors

A. Falcon, A. Ramirez, M. Valero
<i title="IEEE"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/n7ljjecrpje5pj66pk4pvx65qu" style="color: black;">10th International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA&#39;04)</a> </i> &nbsp;
Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) is an architectural technique that allows for the parallel execution of several threads simultaneously. Fetch performance has been identified as the most important bottleneck for SMT processors. The commonly adopted solution has been fetching from more than one thread each cycle. Recent studies have proposed a plethora of fetch policies to deal with fetch priority among threads, trying to increase fetch performance. In this paper we demonstrate that the
more &raquo; ... eous sharing of the fetch unit, apart from increasing the complexity of the fetch unit, can be counterproductive in terms of performance. We evaluate the use of high-performance fetch units in the context of SMT. Our new fetch architecture proposal allows us to feed an 8-way processor fetching from a single thread each cycle, reducing complexity, and increasing the usefulness of proposed fetch policies. Our results show that using new high-performance fetch units, like the FTB or the stream fetch, provides higher performance than fetching from two threads using common SMT fetch architectures. Furthermore, our results show that our design obtains better average performance for any kind of workloads (both ILP and memory bounded benchmarks), in contrast to previously proposed solutions.
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