Bungee jumps: Accelerating indirect branches through HW/SW co-design

Daniel S. McFarlin, Craig Zilles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Indirect branches have historically been a challenge for microarchitectures and code generators alike. The recent steady increase in indirect branch predictability has translated into continual performance improvements especially for Out-of-Order processors which benefit more readily from improvements in branch prediction. In contrast, in-order processors which rely on code generators for performance are still challenged by indirect branches; they are a frequent source of issue stalls and the large number of indirect branch targets and unbiased nature of indirect branches complicate the use of traditional branch handling techniques like assert conversion and predication. To address these limitations, we propose an ISA enhancement with associated code transformation and hardware support that collectively enable the current trend of improved indirect branch predictability to be directly leveraged by code-generators for in-orders. By separating the prediction point of an indirect branch from its resolution point, we enable code generators to emit schedules which more readily match those found by the Out-of-Order. Our technique is particularly beneficial to those processors which leverage dynamic binary translation and optimization such as Transmeta's Efficeon and more recently Nvidia's Project Denver. On a set of indirect branch intensive benchmarks from SPEC 2006, 2000 and 95, we achieve a Geomean speedup on a 4-wide of 11%. We further demonstrate speedups of 23% and 14% speedup on PHP and Python benchmarks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 48th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2015
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340342
StatePublished - Dec 5 2015
Event48th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2015 - Waikiki, United States
Duration: Dec 5 2015Dec 9 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO
ISSN (Print)1072-4451


Other48th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture


Dive into the research topics of 'Bungee jumps: Accelerating indirect branches through HW/SW co-design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this