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Energy-Efficient Cache Coherence Protocols in Chip-Multiprocessors for Server Consolidation

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4 Author(s)
Garcia-Guirado, A. ; Dept. de Ingeniena y Tecnol. de Comput., Univ. de Murcia, Murcia, Spain ; Fernandez-Pascual, R. ; Ros, A. ; Garcia, J.M.

As the number of cores in a chip increases, power consumption is becoming a major constraint in the design of chip multiprocessors. At the same time, server consolidation is gaining importance to take advantage of such a number of cores. Our goal is to alleviate this constraint by reducing the power consumption of chip multiprocessors used for consolidated workloads by means of the cache coherence protocol. For this, we statically divide the chip in areas, which allows us to reduce the directory overhead needed to support coherence and to reduce the network traffic. This translates into less power consumption without performance degradation. Cache coherence is maintained per area and pointers are used to link the areas, thereby achieving isolation among virtual machines and savings in memory requirements. Additionally, the coherence protocol dynamically selects one node per area as responsible for providing the data on a cache miss, thus lessening the average cache miss latency and the traffic among areas. Compared to a highly-optimized directory implementation, the leakage power consumption is reduced by 54% and the dynamic power consumption of the caches and the network-on-chip by up to 38% for a 64-tile chip multiprocessor with 4 virtual machines, showing no performance degradation.

Published in:

Parallel Processing (ICPP), 2011 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

13-16 Sept. 2011