Appears in the Proceedings of the 33rd Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, Dec. 10-13, 2000, Monterey, CA, pp. 159-170.
Many data-parallel applications, including emerging media applications, have regular structures that can easily be expressed as a series of arithmetic kernels operating on data streams. Data-parallel architectures are designed to exploit this regularity by performing the same operation on many data elements concurrently. However, applications containing data-dependent control constructs perform poorly on these architectures. Conditional streams convert these constructs into data-dependent data movement. This allows data-parallel architectures to efficiently execute applications with data-dependent control flow. Essentially, conditional streams extend the range of applications that a data-parallel architecture can execute efficiently. For example, polygon rendering speeds up by a factor of 1.8 with the use of conditional streams.