Architecture of Modern VLSI Processors
In recent years, the focus of VLSI architecture effort has been primarily on the tradeoffs possible in new microprocessor instruction sets. The result has been a collection of machines with new streamlined instruction sets, and new hardware subsystems tuned to maximize performance. This leaves many designers with a difficult problem: how to apply these new ideas within the constraints of an existing instruction set. Moreover, as the industry converges on faster internal architectures for microprocessors, the design problem changes to address more system-level issues, such as caching structures, I/O, memory interfaces. and peripherals. Traditionally, it has been difficult to analyze these system-level issues in detail, and as a result, many machines have been built based on intuition or incomplete data. However, the availability of existing microprocessors, and rapid advances in CAD techniques, have made possible experiments that help guide design decisions with more solid data.
KeywordsRegister File Data Cache Pipeline Stage Instruction Cache Execution Unit
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