Since the functional units have latencies of one or

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Unformatted text preview: before the next begins. This capability can only be exploited if there are successive, logically independent operations to 5.7. UNDERSTANDING MODERN PROCESSORS 225 be performed. As indicated, most of the units can begin a new operation on every clock cycle. The only exceptions are the floating-point multiplier, which requires a minimum of two cycles between successive operations, and the two dividers, which are not pipelined at all. Circuit designers can create functional units with a range of performance characteristics. Creating a unit with short latency or issue time requires more hardware, especially for more complex functions such as multiplication and floating-point operations. Since there is only a limited amount of space for these units on the microprocessor chip, the CPU designers must carefully balance the number of functional units and their individual performance to achieve optimal overall performance. They evaluate many different benchmark programs and dedicate the most resources to the most critical operations. As Figure 5.12 indicates, integer multiplication a...
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