next up previous contents
Next: 7.5 References Up: 7 Scheduling Algorithms for Previous: 7.3 Super Block Scheduling   Contents

7.4 The Future of VLIW Processors

VLIW processors have enjoyed moderate commercial success in recent times as exemplified by the Philips Trimedia, TI TMS320C62x DSPs, Intel Itanium and to a lesser extend the Transmeta Crusoe. However, the role of VLIW processors has changed since the days of Cydrome and Multiflow. Even though early VLIW processors were developed to be scientific super computers, newer processors have been used mainly for stream, image and digital signal processing, multimedia codec hardware, low power mobile computers etc. VLIW compiler technology has made major advances during the last decade. However, most of the compiler techniques developed for VLIW are equally applicable to super scalar processors. Stream and media processing applications are typically very regular with predictable branch behavior and large amounts of ILP. They lend themselves easily to VLIW style execution. The ever increasing demand for multimedia applications will continue to fuel development of VLIW technology. However, in the short term, super scalar processors will probably dominate in the role of general purpose processors. Increasing wire delays in deep sub micron processes will ultimately force super scalar processors to use simpler and more scalable control structures and seek more help from software. It is reasonable to assume that in the long run, much of the VLIW technology and design philosophy will make its way into main stream processors.


next up previous contents
Next: 7.5 References Up: 7 Scheduling Algorithms for Previous: 7.3 Super Block Scheduling   Contents
Binu K. Mathew