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Elements of High-Performance RISC Processors - Design and Synthesis

Cell die photo

News

  • The open lab session takes place every Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm.
  • If you do not need to experiment with the FPGA board, please use the ITI computer pool in 3rd floor (you can also access our computer pool remotely - see introductory slides)

Lab Course Overview

In this lab course a basic 32-bit RISC processor is extended with techniques common to high-performance processors.

The  extensions include:

  • Pipelining
  • 4-way SIMD
  • Pipelined hardware multiplier
  • Cache, writeback queue, etc.

The resulting processor architecture is quite similar to the one used in the synergistic processing element of the Cell Broadband Engine, used e.g. in Playstation 3.

In order to achieve high performance,  proper design techniques and software tools for synthesis and analysis play an important role. The students learn how timing analysis, pipelining and retiming can be used to optimize the synthesis results. Finally, the processor is emulated on a Virtex-5 FPGA prototyping board.

The performance gain of the student's design is measured for the Mandelbrot set computation with respect to the basic RISC architecture. Because software has to be specifically tailored to high-performance processor architectures, the lab course also deals with scheduling techniques that avoid pipeline stalls.

Schedule

Number

Exercise

Due Date Theory

Due Date Practical Part

Material/Comments

01

Task Sheet

26.10.2012

26.10.2012

Introduction

02

Task Sheet

26.10.2012

2.11.2012

VHDL

03

Task Sheet

2.11.2012

9.11.2012

Assembler

04

Task Sheet

9.11.2012

23.11.2012

05

Task Sheet

23.11.2012

30.11.2012

06

Task Sheet

30.11.2012

7.12.2012

07

Task Sheet

7.12.2012

11.01.2013

08

Task Sheet

11.01.2013

25.01.2013

09

Task Sheet

25.01.2013

1.02.2013

10

Task Sheet

bonus

bonus

Literature

  • D. A. Patterson, J. L. Hennessy: Computer Organization & Design . The Hardware / Software Interface (3rd Edition); San Francisco, Ca.: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., 2004
  • J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson: Computer Architecture - A Quantitative Approach (5th Edition); San Francisco, Ca.: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., 2012

Tutors

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