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The key elements of a superscalar processor are outlined below:

  1. Instruction fetch strategies that simultaneously fetch multiple instructions, often by predicting the outcomes of, and fetching beyond, conditional branch instructions. These functions require the use of multiple pipeline fetch and decode stages, and branch prediction logic.
  2. Logic for determining true dependencies involving register values, and mechanisms for communicating these values to where they are needed during execution.
  3. Mechanisms for initiating, or issuing, multiple instructions in parallel.
  4. Resources for parallel execution of multiple instructions, including multiple pipelined functional units and memory hierarchies capable of simultaneously servicing multiple memory references.
  5. Mechanisms for committing the process state in correct order.
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