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Threading model optimization of the AEMB Microprocessor

Mansour, Mostafa Mohamed Ibrahim (2014) Threading model optimization of the AEMB Microprocessor. Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

AEMB is a 32-bit RISC architecture processor with multi threading. It is a soft core processor designed for FPGA implementation and available as an open source. The processor runs on the instruction set of the Microblaze processor developed by Xilinx. The current threading model in AEMB is a fine grained model that interleaves threads one instruction at a time with separate register sets for each thread. This project aims at understanding the architecture of the AEMB and improving the performance of its threading model. The chosen optimization is to change the current threading model to a coarse grained one that switches threads on branch instructions. The advantage of this approach is that the pipeline no longer has to stall on every branch instruction executed as the processor will be executing instructions from another thread. Thus, branches cause the processor to stall only when there is back to back branch instructions or when two branch instructions with one gap between them and the first of them has no delay slot. This is quite an improvement over the previous case where the processor stalls for one cycle on any branch instruction encountered. The disadvantage to the coarse grained threading model is that data hazards that can’t be forwarded can now cause the processor to stall up to three cycles in the worst case scenario compared to only one cycle stall in the old model. As for Area consumption on FPGA, synthesis showed that the modified core utilizes double the number of LUTs that the original AEMB needs but there was no significant increase in the number of register. Further quantitative analysis is necessary to determine the total gain in performance by running the suitable benchmarks on both versions of the processor. The results are expected to be in favor of the design if the improved case is more common that the negatively affected cases.

Item Type: Final Year Project
Academic Subject : Academic Department - Electrical And Electronics - Pervasisve Systems - Digital Electronics - Prototyping
Subject: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions: Engineering > Electrical and Electronic
Depositing User: Ahmad Suhairi Mohamed Lazim
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2014 16:37
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2017 09:36
URI: http://utpedia.utp.edu.my/id/eprint/14390

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