Trace Cache: A Low Latency Approach to High Bandwidth Instruction Fetching

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Executive Summary

As the issue width of superscalar processors is increased, instruction fetch bandwidth requirements will also increase. It will become necessary to fetch multiple basic blocks per cycle. Conventional instruction caches hinder this effort because long instruction sequences are not always in contiguous cache locations. The authors propose supplementing the conventional instruction cache with a trace cache. This structure caches traces of the dynamic instruction stream, so instructions that are otherwise noncontiguous appear contiguous.

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