Wrong Path Events: Exploiting Unusual and Illegal Program Behavior for Early Misprediction Detection and Recovery

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Provided by: University of Teramo
Topic: Hardware
Format: PDF
Control and data speculation are widely used to improve processor performance. Correct speculation can reduce execution time, but incorrect speculation can lead to increased execution time and greater energy consumption. This paper proposes a mechanism to leverage unexpected program behavior, called wrong-path events that occur during periods of incorrect speculation. A wrong-path event is an instance of illegal or unusual program behavior that is more likely to occur on the wrong path than on the correct path, such as a NULL pointer dereference. When a wrong path event occurs, the processor can predict that it is on the wrong path and speculatively initiate mis-prediction recovery.
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