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Design and evaluation of a selective compressed memory system

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3 Author(s)
Jang-Soo Lee ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Yonsei Univ., Seoul, South Korea ; Won-Kee Hong ; Shin-Dug Kim

This research explores any potential for an on-chip cache compression which can reduce not only cache miss ratio but also miss penalty, if main memory is also managed in compressed form. However, the decompression time causes a critical effect on the memory access time and variable-sized compressed blocks tend to increase the design complexity of the compressed cache architecture. This paper suggests several techniques to reduce the decompression overhead and to manage the compressed blocks efficiently which include selective compression, fixed space allocation for the compressed blocks, parallel decompression, the use of a decompression buffer, and so on. Moreover a simple compressed cache architecture based on the above techniques and its management method are proposed. The results from trace-driven simulation show that this approach can provide around 35% decrease in the on-chip cache miss ratio as well as a 53% decrease in the data traffic over the conventional memory systems. Also, a large amount of the decompression overhead can be reduced, and thus the average memory access time can also be reduced by maximum 20% against the conventional memory systems

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Computer Design, 1999. (ICCD '99) International Conference on

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