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Effective instruction prefetching in chip multiprocessors for modern commercial applications

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3 Author(s)
Spracklen, L. ; Scalable Syst. Group, Sun Microsyst. Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; Yuan Chou ; Abraham, S.G.

In this paper, we study the instruction cache miss behavior of four modern commercial applications (a database workload, TPC-W, SPECjAppServer2002 and SPECweb99). These applications exhibit high instruction cache miss rates for both the L1 and L2 caches, and a sizable performance improvement can be achieved by eliminating these misses. We show that it is important, not only to address sequential misses, but also misses due to branches and function calls. As a result, we propose an efficient discontinuity prefetching scheme that can be effectively combined with traditional sequential prefetching to address all forms of instruction cache misses. Additionally, with the emergence of chip multiprocessors (CMPs), instruction prefetching schemes must take into account their effect on the shared L2 cache. Specifically aggressive instruction cache prefetching can result in an increase in the number of L2 cache data misses. As a solution, we propose a scheme that does not install prefetches into the L2 cache unless they are proven to be useful. Overall, we demonstrate that the combination of our proposed schemes is successful in reducing the instruction miss rate to only 10%-16% of the original miss rate and results in a 1.08X-1.37X performance improvement for the applications studied.

Published in:

High-Performance Computer Architecture, 2005. HPCA-11. 11th International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

12-16 Feb. 2005