6.5 Program flow prediction
The Cortex-A72 processor contains program flow prediction hardware, also known as branch prediction.
With program flow prediction disabled, all taken branches incur a penalty associated with
flushing the pipeline. To avoid this penalty, the branch prediction hardware operates at the
front of the instruction pipeline. The branch prediction hardware consists of:
- A Branch Target Buffer (BTB) to identify branches and provide targets for
- 2-level global history-based direction predictor.
- Indirect predictor to provide targets for indirect branches.
- Return stack.
- Static predictor.
The combination of global history-based direction predictor and BTB are called
This section contains the following subsections: