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Prefetching and memory system behavior of the SPEC95 benchmark suite

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2 Author(s)
Charney, M.J. ; IBM Research Division, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598, USA ; Puzak, T.R.

This paper presents instruction and data cache miss rates for the SPEC95™ benchmark suite. We have simulated the instruction and data traffic resulting from 500 million instructions of each of the 18 programs. Simulation results show that only a few of the applications place more than modest demands on the memory system. This was noticed for instruction caches, where only a few workloads required more than a 32Kb cache to achieve miss rates of less than one miss every 1000 instructions. We also analyze two prefetching algorithms using the SPEC95 workload: next-sequential prefetching and shadow-directory prefetching. Each prefetching algorithm is evaluated using three performance metrics: coverage, accuracy, and traffic. Variations in each prefetching algorithm involve the use of a confirmation mechanism that receives feedback information about the quality of each prefetch. With confirmation, the prefetching algorithm is able to enhance the accuracy of prefetching decisions. The results show that shadow-directory prefetching averages miss coverage about ten percent higher than next-sequential prefetching when used in prefetching instructions (about 60 percent coverage for next-sequential prefetching versus 70 percent for shadow-directory prefetching). The prefetching accuracy for both algorithms is more than 90 percent when a confirmation mechanism is used. In general, data prefetching is shown to be less accurate and to provide less coverage than instruction prefetching. Shadow-directory prefetching averaged about a 40 percent miss coverage versus a 25 percent miss coverage for next-sequential prefetching. Prefetching accuracy is over 70 percent when confirmation is applied.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 3 )