Reg file vs. forwarding network

By: Peter (not.delete@this.likely.com), June 22, 2008 2:48 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
>I sometimes wonder if we should not experiment more with ISAs that make dependencies
>explicit rather than parallelism. I am aware of only a single old academic project
>named "WM - Weird Machine". It encoded instructions as dependent pairs with implicit
>producer/consumer dataflow. You could say it generalized things like 'fused multiply
>add', or the complex 'load effective address' instructions.

I suspect that given the cost of wires today a wide issue processor with lots of execution resource would run into timing issues if it tried to do a lot of forwarding.

Also, designing a micro-architecture that relies on forwarding operands from multiple execution resources to all other execution resources is not going to particularly power efficient as wire power is so high.
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