Virtual Ways: Efficient Coherence for Architecturally Visible Storage in Automatic Instruction Set Extensions

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Provided by: Delft University of Technology
Topic: Hardware
Format: PDF
Customizable processors augmented with application-specific Instruction Set Extensions (ISEs) have begun to gain traction in re-cent years. The most effective ISEs include Architecturally Visible Storage (AVS), compiler-controlled memories accessible exclusively to the ISEs. Unfortunately, the usage of AVS memories creates a coherence problem with the data cache. A multiprocessor coherence protocol can solve the problem, however, this is an expensive solution when applied in a uniprocessor context. Instead, the authors can solve the problem by modifying the cache controller so that the AVS memories function as extra ways of the cache with respect to coherence, but are not generally accessible as extra ways for use under normal software execution.
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