Explicitly parallel instruction computing

Explicitly parallel instruction computing

Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) is a term coined in 1997 by the HP-Intel alliance [cite web
url = http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/1999/HPL-1999-111.pdf
title = EPIC: An Architecture for Instruction-Level Parallel Processors
accessdate = 2008-05-08
last = Schlansker and Rau
work = HP Laboratories Palo Alto, HPL-1999-111
date = February 2000
] to describe a computing paradigm that began to be researched in the early 1980s. [cite patent|US|4847755] This paradigm is also called "Independence" architectures. It was the basis for Intel and HP development of the Intel Itanium architecture,cite web
url = http://www.hpl.hp.com/news/2001/apr-jun/itanium.html
title = Inventing Itanium: How HP Labs Helped Create the Next-Generation Chip Architecture
accessdate = 2007-12-14
last =
first =
authorlink =
date = June 2001
work = HP Labs
] and HP later asserted that "EPIC" was merely an old term for the Itanium architecture.cite web
url = http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2598
title = Itanium–Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
accessdate = 2008-05-08
last = De Gelas
first = Johan
authorlink =
date = November 9, 2005
work = AnandTech
] EPIC permits microprocessors to execute software instructions in parallel by using the compiler, rather than complex on-die circuitry, to control parallel instruction execution. This was intended to allow simple performance scaling without resorting to higher clock frequencies.

Roots in VLIW

By 1989, researchers at HP recognized that RISC architectures were reaching a limit at one instruction per cycle. They began an investigation into a new architecture, later named EPIC. The basis for the research was VLIW, in which multiple operations are encoded in every instruction, and then processed by multiple execution units.

One goal of EPIC was to move the complexity of instruction scheduling from the CPU hardware to the software compiler, which can do the instruction scheduling statically (with help of trace feedback information). This eliminates the need for complex scheduling circuitry in the CPU, which frees up space and power for other functions, including additional execution resources. An equally important goal was to further exploit instruction level parallelism ("ILP"), by using the compiler to find and exploit additional opportunities for parallel execution.

"VLIW" (at least the original forms) has several short-comings that precluded it from becoming mainstream:
* VLIW instruction sets are not backward compatible between implementations. When wider implementations (more execution units) are built, the instruction set for the wider machines is not backward compatible with older, narrower implementations.
* Load responses from a memory hierarchy which includes CPU caches and DRAM do not have a deterministic delay. This makes static scheduling of load instructions by the compiler very difficult.

Moving beyond VLIW

"EPIC" architectures add several features to get around the deficiencies of VLIW:
* Each group of multiple software instructions is called a "bundle". Each of the bundles has information indicating if this set of operations is depended upon by the subsequent bundle. With this capability, future implementations can be built to issue multiple bundles in parallel. The dependency information is calculated by the compiler, so the hardware does not have to perform operand dependency checking.
* A "speculative" load instruction is used as a type of data prefetch. This prefetch increases the chances for a primary cache hit for normal loads.
* A check load instruction also aids speculative loads by checking that a load was not dependent on a previous store.

The "EPIC" architecture also includes a "grab-bag" of architectural concepts to increase "ILP":
* Predicated execution is used to decrease the occurrence of branches and to increase the speculative execution of instructions. In this feature, branch conditions are converted to predicate registers which are used to kill results of executed instructions from the side of the branch which is not taken.
* Delayed exceptions (using a Not-A-Thing bit within the general purpose registers) also allow more speculative execution past possible exceptions.
* Very large architectural register files avoid the need for register renaming.
* Multi-way branch instructions

The Itanium architecture also added register renaming - a digital signal processing concept useful for loop unrolling and software pipelining.

Other research and development

There have been other investigations into EPIC architectures that are not directly tied to the development of the Itanium architecture.
*The IMPACT project at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, led by Wen-mei Hwu, was the source of much influential research on this topic.
*The PlayDoh architecture from HP-labs was another major research project.
*Gelato is an open source development community in which academic and commercial researchers are working to develop more effective compilers for Linux applications running on Itanium servers.

ee also

*Complex instruction set computer (CISC)
*Reduced instruction set computer (RISC)
*Very long instruction word (VLIW)
*Russian processors "Elbrus"


External links

* [http://www.cs.clemson.edu/~mark/epic.html Historical background for EPIC]
* Mark Smotherman (2002) " [http://www.cs.clemson.edu/~mark/464/acmse_epic.pdf Understanding EPIC Architectures and Implementations] "

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing — EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing, littéralement informatique à instruction explicitement parallèle) est un type d architecture de microprocesseurs (utilisé entre autres dans les DSP et par Intel pour les microprocesseurs Itanium et …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing — EPIC bezeichnet eine Eigenschaft einer Befehlssatzarchitektur (englisch Instruction Set Architecture, kurz ISA) und der Verarbeitungsstruktur einer Familie von Mikroprozessoren, z. B. Itanium. Bei der Programmierung von EPIC CPUs wird… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Instruction level parallelism — (ILP) is a measure of how many of the operations in a computer program can be performed simultaneously. Consider the following program: 1. e = a + b 2. f = c + d 3. g = e * fOperation 3 depends on the results of operations 1 and 2, so it cannot… …   Wikipedia

  • Instruction set — An instruction set, or instruction set architecture (ISA), is the part of the computer architecture related to programming, including the native data types, instructions, registers, addressing modes, memory architecture, interrupt and exception… …   Wikipedia

  • Instruction Set Architecture — Eine Befehlssatzarchitektur (engl. Instruction Set Architecture, kurz: ISA) ist – vereinfacht gesagt – die formale Spezifikation bestimmter Verhaltensweisen eines Prozessors aus Sicht seines Programmierers, auf die sich dieser bei der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • List of computing and IT abbreviations — This is a list of computing and IT acronyms and abbreviations. Contents: 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y …   Wikipedia

  • Very long instruction word — or VLIW refers to a CPU architecture designed to take advantage of instruction level parallelism (ILP). A processor that executes every instruction one after the other (i.e. a non pipelined scalar architecture) may use processor resources… …   Wikipedia

  • Parallel computing — Programming paradigms Agent oriented Automata based Component based Flow based Pipelined Concatenative Concurrent computing …   Wikipedia

  • EPIC (informatique) — Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing, littéralement informatique à instruction explicitement parallèle) est un type d architecture de microprocesseurs (utilisé entre autres dans les DSP et par… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Itanium — 2 processor Produced From mid 2001 to present Common manufacturer(s) Intel Max. CPU c …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”