What is architecture exploration?
Architectural exploration refers to the the process of analyzing alternatives in implementing an instruction set architecture (ISA).
This includes defining processor resources such as registers, privilege modes and word lengths. It also includes the definition of instruction encoding and semantics. Before finalizing the ISA it is normal to evaluate the performance of the instruction set using software examples that are representative of the target workload. This would be done by creating a compiler for the instruction set and profiling software examples.