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APT Advanced Processor Technologies Research Group

Boosting Single Thread Performance in Mobile Processors using Recongurable Acceleration.

Geoffrey Ndu


Mobile processors, a subclass of embedded processors, are increasingly employing CMP (Chip Multi-Processor) designs to improve performance. Single-thread performance in CMP suffers as vendors move to fewer per core resources to enable them to instantiate more cores on a die. Single thread performance is still important according to Amdahl's law. The traditional technique for efficiently boosting serial performance in embedded processors, dedicated hardware acceleration, is unsuitable for modern mobile processors because of the heterogeneity and the diversity of applications they run. This thesis investigates the possibility and potential benefits of using a general purpose accelerator (placed within the datapath of a CPU), reconfigured on an application-by-application basis, as a means of efficiently increasing single-thread performance. Configurations for the accelerator are generated at runtime, via a JIT compiler, which allows it to accelerate dynamically generated code. This is important as dynamic code generation is now prevalent on mobile processors.

The thesis is available as PDF (2.7MB).