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Cache memory organization to enhance the yield of high performance VLSI processors

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1 Author(s)
Sohi, G.S. ; Comput. Sci. Dept., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA

The authors study the tolerance of defects faults in cache memories. They argue that, even though the major components of a cache are linear RAMs (random-access memories), traditional techniques used for fault/defect tolerance in RAMs may be neither appropriate nor necessary for cache memories. They suggest a scheme that allows a cache to continue operation in the presence of defective/faulty blocks. Results are presented of an extensive trace-driven simulation analysis that evaluates the performance degradation of a cache due to defective blocks. From the results it is seen that the on-chip caches of VLSI processors can be organized so that the performance degradation due to a few defective blocks is negligible. The authors conclude that by tolerating such defects without a noticeable performance degradation, the yield of VLSI processors can be enhanced considerably

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Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 4 )