Squashing Microcode Stores to Size in Embedded Systems While Delivering Rapid Microcode Accesses

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Microcoded customized IPs offer superior performance and direct programmability of micro-architectural structures com-pared to instruction-based processors, yet at the cost of drastically enlarged code sizes. Code compression can deliver size reductions but necessitates attention to performance issues, so that the performance benefits of microcoded IPs are not squandered in the process. To attain this goal, the authors propose in this paper a fast code compression technique through exploiting the fact that the microcodes contain a sizable amount of unspecified bits. Although the values and the positions of the specified bits are highly irregular, the proposed technique can still flexibly and precisely fill in these fully specified bits through utilizing a linear network.