Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Hank Dietz

Abstract

The ideal memory system assumed by most programmers is one which has high capacity, yet allows any word to be accessed instantaneously. To make the hardware approximate this performance, an increasingly complex memory hierarchy, using caches and techniques like automatic prefetch, has evolved. However, as the gap between processor and memory speeds continues to widen, these programmer-visible mechanisms are becoming inadequate.

Part of the recent increase in processor performance has been due to the introduction of programmer/compiler-visible SWAR (SIMD Within A Register) parallel processing on increasingly wide DATA LARs (Line Associative Registers) as a way to both improve data access speed and increase efficiency of SWAR processing. Although the base concept of DATA LARs predates this thesis, this thesis presents the first instruction set architecture specification complete enough to allow construction of a detailed prototype hardware design. This design was implemented and tested using a hardware simulator.

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