Certain corner-case operations cannot be handled natively by the execution pipeline and must be performed by the microcode sequencer (MS), where 1 or more uOps are issued. The microcode sequencer performs microcode assists (small programs injected into the execution stream), inserting flows, and writing to the instruction queue (IQ). For example, when working with very small floating point values (so-called denormals), the floating-point units are not set up to perform these operations natively. Instead, a sequence of instructions to perform the computation on the denormal is injected into the pipeline. Since these microcode sequences might be hundreds of instructions long, these microcode assists are extremely deleterious to performance.
A significant portion of execution time is spent in microcode assists, inserted flows, and writing to the instruction queue (IQ). Examine the FP Assist and SIMD Assist metrics to determine the specific cause.