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Operand forwarding

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Operand forwarding

Operand forwarding is an optimization in pipelined CPUs to limit performance deficits which occur due to pipeline stalls.[1][2] A data hazard can lead to a pipeline stall when the current operation has to wait for the results of an earlier operation which has not yet finished.



If these two assembly pseudocode instructions run in a pipeline, after fetching and decoding the second instruction, the pipeline stalls, waiting until the result of the addition is written and read.

Without operand forwarding
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Fetch ADD Decode ADD Read Operands ADD Execute ADD Write result
Fetch SUB Decode SUB Read Operands SUB Execute SUB Write result
With operand forwarding
1 2 3 4 5 6
Fetch ADD Decode ADD Read Operands ADD Execute ADD Write result
Fetch SUB Decode SUB Read Operands SUB: use result from previous operation Execute SUB Write result

Technical realization

The CPU control unit must implement logic to detect dependencies where operand forwarding makes sense. A multiplexer can then be used to select the proper register or flip-flop to read the operand from.

See also


  1. ^ "CMSC 411 Lecture 19, Pipelining Data Forwarding". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  2. ^ "High performance computing, Notes of class 11". September 2000. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 

External links

  • Data Hazards
  • Introduction to Pipelining

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