Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Architecture Instruction Encoding Reply To: Instruction Encoding

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I’m curious.

Since instruction decoding is obviously a performance bottleneck, and since it is also obviously hard to parallelise, why does no architecture (to my knowledge) not performance instruction decoding when it loads data into the icache?

It seems reasonable to me that if you are designing a greenfield architecture, you should be able to design in sufficients constraints to make it possible to decode to micro-ops when the instructions are fetched from main memory, and cache those decoded micro-ops in the icache instead of directly caching the original instructions.

Now, this will obviously increase the size of the icache, but it seems to me that there is more opportunity to throw gate-level parallelism at this if it is performed at RAM access time, rather then just before execution.