Applying stack simulation for branch target buffers

R. Ming Shiu, Neng Pin Lu, Chung Ping Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Branch target buffer (BTB) is widely used in modern microprocessor designs to reduce the penalties caused by branches. To evaluate the performance of a BTB, trace-driven simulation is often used. However, as the trace of a typical program is very large, the simulation time is often too long. To reduce the simulation time, we developed a stack simulation technique for BTB to evaluate many sets of design parameters in one simulation pass. Due to the fact that the prediction information in the BTB does not have the inclusion property - a property which makes the stack simulation work, we propose a state vector method to enumerate the prediction information for different sets of BTB design parameters to mimic the inclusion property. Simulation results show that the state vector method greatly reduces the simulation time. The speedup of the stack simulation for BTB proposed in this paper over the traditional BTB simulation is 4.68 in terms of simulation time when 13 sets of BTB design parameters are simulated in one simulation pass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 05 2000
Externally publishedYes


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