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Energy and performance improvements in microprocessor design using a loop cache

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4 Author(s)
Bellas, N. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Illinois Univ., Urbana, IL, USA ; Hajj, I. ; Polychronopoulos, C. ; Stamoulis, G.

Energy dissipated in on-chip caches represents a substantial portion in the energy budget of today's processors. Extrapolating current trends, this portion is likely to increase in the near future, since the devices devoted to the caches occupy an increasingly larger percentage of the total area of the chip. We extend the work proposed by J. Kin et al. (1997), in which an extra, small cache (called filter cache) is inserted between the CPU data path and the L1 cache and serves to filter most of the references initiated from the CPU. In our scheme, the compiler is used to generate code that exploits the new memory hierarchy and reduces the possibility of a miss in the extra cache. Experimental results across a wide range of SPEC95 benchmarks show that this cache, which we call L-Cache, has a small performance overhead with respect to the scheme without any extra caches, and provides substantial energy savings. The L-Cache is placed between the CPU and the I-Cache. The D-Cache subsystem is not modified. Since the L-Cache is much smaller, and thus, has a smaller access time than the I-Cache, this scheme can also be used for performance improvements provided that the hit rate in the L-Cache is very high. In our experimental results, we show that the L-Cache does indeed improve performance in some cases

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

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