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This paper proposes an architecturally redundant cache-coherence architecture (ARCc) that combines the directory and shared-NUCA based coherence protocols to improve performance, energy and dependability. Both coherence mechanisms co-exist in the hardware and ARCc enables seamless transition between the two protocols. We present an online analytical model implemented in the hardware that predicts performance and triggers a transition between the two coherence protocols at application-level granularity. The ARCc architecture delivers up to 1.6× higher performance and up to 1.5× lower energy consumption compared to the directory-based counterpart. It does so by identifying applications which benefit from the large shared cache capacity of shared-NUCA because of lower off-chip accesses, or where remote-cache word accesses are efficient.
Date of Conference: 9-12 Oct. 2011