Leveraging data promotion for low power D-NUCA caches
Paper in proceedings, 2008

D-NUCA caches are cache memories that, thanks to banked organization, broadcast search and promotion/demotion mechanism, are able to tolerate the increasing wire delay effects introduced by technology scaling. As a consequence, they will outperform conventional caches (UCA, Uniform Cache Architectures) in future generation cores. Due to the promotion/demotion mechanism, we observed that the distribution of hits across the ways of a D-NUCA cache varies across applications as well as across different execution phases within a single application. In this work, we show how such a behavior can be leveraged to improve the D-NUCA power efficiency as well as to decrease its access latency. In particular, we propose: 1) A new microarchitectural technique to reduce the static power consumption of a D-NUCA cache by dynamically adapting the number of active (i.e. powered-on) ways to the need of the running application; our evaluation shows that a strong reduction of the average number of active ways (37.1%) is achievable, without significantly affecting the IPC (-2.83%), leading to a resultant reduction of the Energy Delay Product (EDP) of 30.9%. 2) A strategy to estimate the characteristic parameters of the proposed technique. 3) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed technique in the multicore environment.


Alessandro Bardine

University of Pisa

Manuel Comparetti

University of Pisa

Pierfrancesco Foglia

University of Pisa

Giacomo Gabrielli

University of Pisa

Cosimo Antonio Prete

University of Pisa

Per Stenström

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Computer Engineering (Chalmers)

11th EUROMICRO Conference on Digital System Design Architectures, Methods and Tools, DSD 2008; Parma; Italy; 3 September 2008 through 5 September 2008

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