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Memory hierarchy reconfiguration for energy and performance in general-purpose processor architectures

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4 Author(s)
Balasubramonian, R. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Rochester Univ., NY, USA ; Albones, D. ; Buyuktosunoglu, A. ; Dwarkadas, S.

Conventional microarchitectures choose a single memory hierarchy design point targeted at the average application. In this paper, we propose a cache and TLB layout and design that leverages repeater insertion to provide dynamic low-cost configurability trading off size and speed on a per application phase basis. A novel configuration management algorithm dynamically detects phase changes and reacts to an application's hit and miss intolerance in order to improve memory hierarchy performance while taking energy consumption into consideration. When applied to a two-level cache and TLB hierarchy at 0.1 μm technology, the result is an average 15% reduction in cycles per instruction (CPI), corresponding to an average 27% reduction in memory-CPI, across a broad class of applications compared to the best conventional two-level hierarchy of comparable size. Projecting to sub-.1 μm technology design considerations that call for a three-level conventional cache hierarchy for performance reasons, we demonstrate that a configurable L2/L3 cache hierarchy coupled with a conventional LI results in an average 43% reduction in memory hierarchy energy in addition to improved performance

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Microarchitecture, 2000. MICRO-33. Proceedings. 33rd Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on

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