Empowering a helper cluster through data-width aware instruction selection policies

Osman S. Unsal, Oguz Ergin, Xavier Vera, Antonio González

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Narrow values that can be represented by less number of bits than the full machine width occur very frequently in programs. On the other hand, clustering mechanisms enable cost- and performance-effective scaling of processor back-end features. Those attributes can be combined synergistically to design special clusters operating on narrow values (a.k.a. helper cluster), potentially providing performance benefits. We complement a 32-bit monolithic processor with a low-complexity 8-bit helper cluster. Then, in our main focus, we propose various ideas to select suitable instructions to execute in the data-width based clusters. We add data-width information as another instruction steering decision metric and introduce new data-width based selection algorithms which also consider dependency, inter-cluster communication and load imbalance. Utilizing those techniques, the performance of a wide range of workloads are substantially increased; helper cluster achieves an average speedup of 11% for a wide range of 412 apps. When focusing on integer applications, the speedup can be as high as 22% on average
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS 2006), Proceedings, 25-29 April 2006, Rhodes Island, Greece
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1-4244-0054-6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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