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Predicting the performance of a 3D processor-memory chip stack

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6 Author(s)
Jacob, P. ; Rensselaer Polytech. Inst., Troy, NY, USA ; Erdogan, O. ; Zia, A. ; Belemjian, P.M.
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We are exploring a 3D processor-memory stack for use with the message passing interface (MPI). The communication among processors in huge servers wastes several thousands of cycles. Most of these wasted cycles do not come from the communication link among the processors across the system, but rather in handling the message packets. A processor that could handle this message packing and communication at a much faster rate could significantly increase this task's efficiency and thus increase the utilization of such supercomputers, currently a very low 1%. However, at such high clock rates, the memory wall would become a significant problem. Tackling this problem requires innovative technologies, such as 3D memories, which alleviate some problems with long on-chip interconnects. The importance of interconnection wires to circuit performance is on a chip. The need for shorter interconnection delays suggests shorter interconnection wires. Shorter interconnections are more likely in 3D architectures than in equivalent 2D systems. This article explores the advantages of 3D in a processor-memory stack system. We conducted simulations using simple tools like Dinero IV and the cache access and cycle time information (Cacti) to evaluate the performances of various memory architectures.

Published in:

Design & Test of Computers, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 6 )