Software Trace Cache for Commercial Applications

Ramirez, Alex; Larriba-Pey, Josep Ll.; Navarro, Carlos; Valero, Mateo; Torrellas, Josep
October 2002
International Journal of Parallel Programming;Oct2002, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p373
Academic Journal
In this paper we address the important problem of instruction fetch for future wide issue superscalar processors. Our approach focuses on understanding the interaction between software and hardware techniques targeting an increase in the instruction fetch bandwidth. That is the objective, for instance, of the Hardware Trace Cache (HTC). We design a profile based code reordering technique which targets a maximization of the sequentiality of instructions, while still trying to minimize instruction cache misses. We call our software approach, Software Trace Cache (STC). We evaluate our software approach, and then compare it with the HTC and the combination of both techniques. Our results on PostgreSQL show that for large codes with few loops and deterministic execution sequences the STC offers better results than a HTC. Also, both the software and hardware approaches combine well to obtain improved results.


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