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An Evaluation of the TRIPS Computer System (Extended Technical Report)

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Technical Report

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University of Texas at Austin Austin United States

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The TRIPS system employs a new instruction set architecture ISA called Explicit Data Graph Execution EDGE that renegotiates the boundary between hardware and software to expose and exploit concurrency. EDGE ISAs use a block-atomic execution model in which blocks are composed of dataflow instructions. The goal of the TRIPS design is to mine concurrency for high performance while tolerating emerging technology scaling challenges, such as increasing wire delays and power consumption. This paper evaluates how well TRIPS meets this goal through a detailed ISA and performance analysis. We compare performance, using cycles counts, to commercial processors. On SPEC CPU2000, the Intel Core2 outperforms compiled TRIPS code in most cases, although TRIPS matches a Pentium 4. On simple benchmarks, compiled TRIPS code outperforms the Core 2 by 10 and hand-optimized TRIPS code outperforms it by factor of 3. Compared to conventional ISAs, the block-atomic model provides a larger instruction window, increases concurrency at a cost of more instructions executed, and replaces register and memory accesses with more efficient direct instruction-to-instruction communication. Our analysis suggests ISA, microarchitecture, and compiler enhancements for addressing weaknesses in TRIPS and indicates that EDGE architectures have the potential to exploit greater concurrency in future technologies.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Computer Hardware

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