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.