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STT-RAM based energy-efficiency hybrid cache for CMPs

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3 Author(s)
Jianhua Li ; Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China ; Chun Jason Xue ; Yinlong Xu

Modern high performance Chip Multiprocessor (CMP) systems rely on large on-chip cache hierarchy. As technology scales down, the leakage power of present SRAM based cache gradually dominates the on-chip power consumption, which can severely jeopardize system performance. The emerging nonvolatile Spin Transfer Torque RAM (STT-RAM) is a promising candidate for large on-chip cache because of the ultra low leakage power. However, the write operations on STT-RAM suffer from considerably higher energy as well as longer latency compared with SRAM which will make STT-RAM in trouble for write-intensive workloads. In this paper, we propose to integrate SRAM with STT-RAM to construct a novel hybrid cache architecture for CMPs. We also propose dedicated microarchitectural mechanisms to make the hybrid cache robust to workloads with different write patterns. Extensive simulation results demonstrate that the proposed hybrid scheme is adaptive to variations of workloads. Overall power consumption is reduced by 37.1% and performance is improved by 23.6% on average compared with SRAM based static NUCA under the same area configuration.

Published in:

2011 IEEE/IFIP 19th International Conference on VLSI and System-on-Chip

Date of Conference:

3-5 Oct. 2011