Operand forwarding

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Operand forwarding (or data forwarding) is an optimization in pipelined CPUs to limit performance deficits which occur due to pipeline stalls.[1][2] A data hazard can lead to a pipeline stall when the current operation has to wait for the results of an earlier operation which has not yet finished.

Example[edit]

ADD A B C  #A=B+C
SUB D C A  #D=C-A

If these two assembly pseudocode instructions run in a pipeline, after fetching and decoding the second instruction, the pipeline stalls, waiting until the result of the addition is written and read.

Without operand forwarding
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Fetch ADD Decode ADD Read Operands ADD Execute ADD Write result
Fetch SUB Decode SUB stall stall Read Operands SUB Execute SUB Write result
With operand forwarding
1 2 3 4 5 6
Fetch ADD Decode ADD Read Operands ADD Execute ADD Write result
Fetch SUB Decode SUB Read Operands SUB: use result from previous operation Execute SUB Write result

Technical realization[edit]

The CPU control unit must implement logic to detect dependencies where operand forwarding makes sense. A multiplexer can then be used to select the proper register or flip-flop to read the operand from.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CMSC 411 Lecture 19, Pipelining Data Forwarding". Csee.umbc.edu. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  2. ^ "High performance computing, Notes of class 11". hpc.serc.iisc.ernet.in. September 2000. Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 

External links[edit]