The implementation and evaluation of dynamic code decompression using DISE
ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Code compression coupled with dynamic decompression is an important technique for both embedded and general-purpose microprocessors. Postfetch decompression, in which decompression is performed after the compressed instructions have been fetched, allows the instruction cache to store compressed code but requires a highly efficient decompression implementation. We propose implementing postfetch decompression using a new hardware facility called dynamic instruction stream editing (DISE). DISE
... ides a programmable decoder-similar in structure to those in many IA-32 processors-that is used to add functionality to an application by injecting custom code snippets into its fetched instruction stream. We present a DISE-based implementation of postfetch decompression and show that it naturally supports customized program-specific decompression dictionaries, enables parameterized decompression allowing similar-but-not-identical instruction sequences to share dictionary entries, and uses no decompression-specific hardware. We present extensive experimental results showing the virtue of this approach and evaluating the factors that impact its efficacy. We also present implementation-neutral results that give insight into the characteristics of any postfetch decompression technique. Our experiments not only demonstrate significant reduction in code size (up to 35%) but also significant improvements in performance (up to 20%) and energy (up to 10%).