An Effective Simultaneous Multithreaded Processor Front-End

L. He and Z. Liu (PRC)

Keywords

SMT, frontend, branch predictor, fetch policy

Abstract

Simultaneous Multithreaded (SMT) processors improve the instruction throughput by allowing fetching and run ning instructions from several threads simultaneously at a single cycle. Accurate branch prediction and efficient in struction fetching are crucial to an SMT processor. In this paper, we construct an effective SMT front-end through combining a value based branch predictor and an instruc tion throughput based fetch policy. The implementation of the front-end is easy, and the hardware needed is less than that of the traditional front-end. Execution-driven simula tion results show that our front-end improves the perfor mance of an SMT processor dramatically. The average speedup of instruction throughput is up to 28% over that of the traditional SMT front-end, which is also higher than that of stream buffer based front-end in the literature.

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