Date Added: Jan 2012
Modern processors enjoy augmented throughput and power efficiency through specialized functional units leveraged via instruction set extensions. These functional units accelerate performance for specific types of operations but must be programmed explicitly. Moreover, applications targeting these specialized units will not take advantage of future ISA extensions and tend not to be portable across multiple ISAs. As architecture designers increasingly rely on heterogeneity for performance improvements, the challenges of leveraging specialized functional units will only become more critical. In particular, exploiting software parallelism without sacrificing portability across the spectrum of commodity and multi-core SIMD processors remains elusive.