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LCTES 2018
co-located with PLDI 2018

JavaScript has seen meteoric growth in popularity as it has in- creasingly become the language of choice for developers, both for front-end web development and server code development through various JavaScript frameworks and Node.js. Part of the reason for its wide use is that it is a prototype based language with dynamic types, making it easy to learn and program in. This flexibility and ease of programming comes at the cost of performance. There are two sources of significant slowdown. First, since the number and type of properties of prototypes is dynamic, accessing a property involves a slow dictionary lookup, as opposed to it being present at a fixed offset from the base address. Second, the dynamism in type of values necessitates wrapping and unwrapping of values into objects with a variety of checks including for type of the value. To mitigate these performance problems, this paper proposes JSCore, a core specialized for JavaScript execution, that vastly reduces the performance degradation due to the above two causes. It uses a hardware lookup table to accelerate property access, and extends the data path to store data types with the data, nearly eliminating the second source of slowdown. Combining the two, JSCore accelerates real world JavaScript applications by 23%.