Recurse Center

Localhost: Dan Luu

Dan Luu on a history of branch prediction from 1500000 BC to 1995

Let’s talk about how and why CPUs do branch prediction!

The “why” is performance. To really explain why, we’ll talk about how CPUs work and develop a cost model for CPU performance with respect to changes to the CPU microarchitecture.

The “how” is simpler than you might think. A core constraint of CPU designs is that, in order to make CPUs fast, CPUs can only do things that are very simple by software standards. This makes all of the digital parts of CPUs understandable, with a little bit of explanation. We should be able to cover how state-of-the-art branch predictors worked from their invention until the mid-to-late nineties, including all of the relevant background, in half an hour.

Drinks will be served. Food will not be provided.

Special thanks to our hosts, Two Sigma Ventures! TSV invests patient financial capital and expert human capital in ambitious early-stage entrepreneurs leveraging data science and engineering to create the future.