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Cache hierarchies in future many-core processors are expected to grow in size and contribute a large fraction of overall processor power and performance. In this paper, we postulate a 3D chip design that stacks SRAM and DRAM upon processing cores and employs OS-based page coloring to minimize horizontal communication of cache data. We then propose a heterogeneous reconfigurable cache design that takes advantage of the high density of DRAM and the superior power/delay characteristics of SRAM to efficiently meet the working set demands of each individual core. Finally, we analyze the communication patterns for such a processor and show that a tree topology is an ideal fit that significantly reduces the power and latency requirements of the on-chip network. The above proposals are synergistic: each proposal is made more compelling because of its combination with the other innovations described in this paper. The proposed reconfigurable cache model improves performance by up to 19% along with 48% savings in network power.
Date of Conference: 14-18 Feb. 2009