Patent Number: 6,167,509

Title: Branch performance in high speed processor

Abstract: A high-performance CPU of the RISC (reduced instruction set) type employs a standardized, fixed instruction size, and permits only simplified memory access data width and addressing modes. The instruction set is limited to register-to-register operations and register load/store operations. Performance can be speeded up by predicting the target of a branch and prefetching the new instruction based upon this prediction; a branch prediction rule is followed that requires all forward branches to be predicted not-taken and all backward branches (as is common for loops) to be predicted as taken. Another performance improvement makes use of unused bits in the standard. sized instruction to provide a hint of the expected target address for jump and jump to subroutine instructions or the like. The target can thus be prefetched before the actual address has been calculated and placed in a register. In addition, the unused displacement part of the jump instruction can contain a field to define the actual type of jump, i.e., jump, jump to subroutine, return from subroutine, and thus place a predicted target address in a stack to allow prefetching before the instruction has been executed.

Inventors: Sites; Richard Lee (Boylston, MA), Witek; Richard T. (Littleton, MA)

Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation

International Classification: G06F 9/30 (20060101); G06F 9/38 (20060101); G06F 9/315 (20060101); G06F 009/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017