An evaluation of the architectural features of the iHARP processor
RISC processors have approached an execution rate of one instruction per cycle by using pipelining to speed up execution. However, to achieve an execution rate of more than one instruction per cycle requires multiple instruction issue (MII) processors which employ multiple pipelines. This paper evaluates the important architectural features of iHARP, the University of Hertfordshire's VLIW processor. Using a resource limited scheduler (RLS), the work shows that the inclusion of various architectural features, for example, conditional instruction execution or the increase in the number of data cache memory ports can improve the performance of a MII processor. A review of the work undertaken by a number of groups in the areas of potential instruction level parallelism and static scheduling show that a great amount of fine-grained parallelism is theoretically available. However, for a processor with four pipelines, our work achieves an instruction execution rate approaching two instructions per cycle.