The complexity of today's microprocessors demands that designers have an extensive knowledge of superscalar design techniques; this knowledge is difficult to acquire outside of a professional design team. Presently, there are a limited number of adequate resources available for the student, both in textual and model form. The limited number of options available emphasizes the need for more models and simulators, allowing students the opportunity to learn more about superscalar designs prior to entering the work force. This thesis details the design and implementation of a superscalar version of the DLX instruction set architecture in behavioral VHDL. The branch prediction strategy, instruction issue model, and hazard avoidance techniques are all issues critical to superscalar processor design and are studied in this thesis. Preliminary test results demonstrate that the performance advantage of the superscalar processor is applicable even to short test sequences. Initial findings have shown a performance improvement of 26% to 57% for instruction sequences under 150 instructions.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Microprocessors--Design and construction--Computer simulation; RISC microprocessors; VHDL (Computer hardware description language)
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Engineering (KGCOE)
Ferno, Paul, "A VHDL model of a superscalar implementation of the DLX instruction set architcture" (1996). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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