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Proceedings Paper

Combined hardware/software solution for stream prefetching in multimedia applications
Author(s): Pieter Struik; Pieter van der Wolf; Andy D. Pimentel
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Paper Abstract

Prefetch techniques may, in general, be applied to reduce the miss rate of a processor's data cache and thereby improve the overall performance of the processor. More in particular, stream prefetch techniques can be applied to prefetch data streams that are often encountered in multimedia applications. Stream prefetch techniques exploit the fact that data from such streams are often accessed in a regular fashion. Implementing a stream prefetch technique involves two issues, viz. stream combined hardware/software stream prefetch technique. A special stream-prefetch instruction is introduced to alert the hardware that load instructions access a data stream. Subsequently, prefetching is handled by the hardware automatically in such a way that the rate at which the data is prefetched is synchronized with the rate at which the prefetched data is processed by the application. These kinds of stream prefetch techniques have been proposed earlier but use instruction addresses for synchronization. The technique that is introduced in this paper uses a different synchronization mechanism that does not suffer from drawbacks of instruction address synchronization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3311, Multimedia Hardware Architectures 1998, (26 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.304664
Show Author Affiliations
Pieter Struik, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Pieter van der Wolf, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Andy D. Pimentel, Univ. of Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3311:
Multimedia Hardware Architectures 1998
Sethuraman Panchanathan; Frans Sijstermans; Subramania I. Sudharsanan, Editor(s)

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