Cite this as:
Jaegeun Oh, Seok Joong Hwang, Huong Giang Nguyen, Areum Kim, Seon Wook Kim, Chulwoo Kim, and Jong-Kook Kim, "Exploiting Thread-Level Parallelism in Lockstep Execution by Partially Duplicating a Single Pipeline,"
ETRI Journal, vol. 30, no. 4, Aug. 2008, pp. 576-586.
In most parallel loops of embedded applications, every iteration executes the exact same sequence of instructions while manipulating different data. This fact motivates a new compiler-hardware orchestrated execution framework in which all parallel threads share one fetch unit and one decode unit but have their own execution, memory, and write-back units. This resource sharing enables parallel threads to execute in lockstep with minimal hardware extension and compiler support. Our proposed architecture, called multithreaded lockstep execution processor (MLEP), is a compromise between the single-instruction multiple-data (SIMD) and symmetric multithreading/chip multiprocessor (SMT/CMP) solutions. The proposed approach is more favorable than a typical SIMD execution in terms of degree of parallelism, range of applicability, and code generation, and can save more power and chip area than the SMT/CMP approach without significant performance degradation. For the architecture verification, we extend a commercial 32-bit embedded core AE32000C and synthesize it on Xilinx FPGA. Compared to the original architecture, our approach is 13.5% faster with a 2-way MLEP and 33.7% faster with a 4-way MLEP in EEMBC benchmarks which are automatically parallelized by the Intel compiler.
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