1.2. The RISC-V ISA

BOOM implements the RV64GC variant of the RISC-V ISA. This includes the MAFDC extensions and the privileged specification (multiply/divide, AMOs, load-reserve/store-conditional, single- and double-precision IEEE 754-2008 floating point). More information about the RISC-V ISA can be found at http://riscv.org.

RISC-V provides the following features which make it easy to target with high-performance designs:

  • Relaxed memory model

    • This greatly simplifies the Load/Store Unit, which does not need to have loads snoop other loads nor does coherence traffic need to snoop the LSU, as required by sequential consistency.
  • Accrued Floating Point (FP) exception flags

    • The FP status register does not need to be renamed, nor can FP instructions throw exceptions themselves.
  • No integer side-effects

    • All integer ALU operations exhibit no side-effects, other than the writing of the destination register. This prevents the need to rename additional condition state.
  • No cmov or predication

    • Although predication can lower the branch predictor complexity of small designs, it greatly complicates OoO pipelines, including the addition of a third read port for integer operations.
  • No implicit register specifiers

    • Even JAL requires specifying an explicit register. This simplifies rename logic, which prevents either the need to know the instruction first before accessing the rename tables, or it prevents adding more ports to remove the instruction decode off the critical path.
  • Registers rs1, rs2, rs3, rd are always in the same place

    • This allows decode and rename to proceed in parallel.

BOOM (currently) does not implement the proposed “V” vector extension.