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The Liberty Research Group

Parallelization Project

Finding Parallelism for Future EPIC Machines [abstract] (PDF)
Matthew Iyer, Chinmay Ashok, Joshua Stone, Neil Vachharajani, Daniel A. Connors, and Manish Vachharajani
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computer Architectures and Compiler Technology (EPIC), March 2005.

Parallelism has been the primary architectural mechanism to increase computer system performance. To continue pushing the performance envelope, identifying new sources of parallelism for future architectures is critical. Current hardware exploits local instruction level parallelism (ILP) as hardware resources and information communicated by the instruction-set architecture (ISA) permit. From this perspective, the Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) ISA is an interesting model for future machines as its primary design allows software to expose analysis information to the underlying processor for it to exploit parallelism. In this effort, EPIC processors have been more or less successful, however the question of how to identify (or create) additional parallelism remains. This paper analyzes the potential of future relationships of compilers, ISAs, and hardware resources to collectively exploit new levels of parallelism. By experimentally studying the ILP of applications under ideal execution conditions (e.g., perfect memory disambiguation, infinite instruction-issue window, and infinite machine resources), the impact of aggressive compiler optimization and the underlying processor ISA on parallelism can be explored. Experimental comparisons involving an Itanium-based EPIC model and an Intel x86-based CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) model indicate that the compiler and certain ISA details directly affect local and distant instruction-level parallelism. The experimental results also suggest promising research directions for extracting the distant ILP.