A pipelined method for executing instructions in a computer system. The present invention includes providing multiple instructions as a continuous stream of operations. This stream of operations is provided in program order. In one embodiment, the stream of operations is provided by performing an instruction cache memory lookup to fetch the multiple instructions, performing instruction length decoding on the instructions, rotating the instructions, and decoding the instructions. The present invention also performs register renaming, allocates resources and sends a portion of each of the operations to a buffering mechanism (e.g., a reservation station). The instruction cache memory lookup, instruction length decoding, rotation and decoding of the instructions, as well as the register renaming, are performed in consecutive pipestages.
The present invention provides for executing the instructions in an out-of-order pipeline. The execution produces results. In one embodiment, the instructions are executed by determining the data readiness of each of the operations and scheduling data ready operations. These scheduled data ready operations are dispatched to an execution unit and executed. The results are written back for use by other operations or as data output or indication. The determination of execution readiness, the dispatching and the execution, and writeback, are performed in consecutive pipestages.
The present invention also provides for retiring each of the continuous stream of operations in such a manner as to commit their results to architectural state and to reestablish sequential program order.