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An Adaptive Data Prefetcher for High-Performance Processors

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3 Author(s)
Yong Chen ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Illinois Inst. of Technol., Chicago, IL, USA ; Huaiyu Zhu ; Xian-He Sun

While computing speed continues increasing rapidly, data-access technology is lagging behind. Data-access delay, not the processor speed, becomes the leading performance bottleneck of high-end/high-performance computing. Prefetching is an effective solution to masking the gap between computing speed and data-access speed. Existing works of prefetching, however, are very conservative in general, due to the computing power consumption concern of the past. They suffer in effectiveness especially when applications' access pattern changes. In this study, we propose an Algorithm-level Feedback-controlled Adaptive (AFA) data prefetcher to address these issues. The AFA prefetcher is based on the Data-Access History Cache, a hardware structure that is specifically designed for data prefetching. It provides an algorithm-level adaptation and is capable of dynamically adapting to appropriate prefetching algorithms at runtime. We have conducted extensive simulation testing with Simple Scalar simulator to validate the design and to illustrate the performance gain. The simulation results show that AFA prefetcher is effective and achieves considerable IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) improvement in average.

Published in:

Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGrid), 2010 10th IEEE/ACM International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-20 May 2010

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