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Optimal allocation of on-chip memory for multiple-API operating systems

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4 Author(s)
D. Nagle ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., MI, USA ; R. Uhlig ; T. Mudge ; S. Sechrest

The allocation of die area to different processor components is a central issue in the design of single-chip microprocessors. Chip area is occupied by both core execution logic, such as ALU and FPU datapaths, and memory structures, such as caches, TLBs, and write buffers. The authors focus on the allocation of die area to memory structures through a cost/benefit analysis. The cost of memory structures with different sizes and associativities is estimated by using an established area model for on-chip memory. The performance benefits of selecting a given structure are measured through a collection of methods including on-the-fly hardware monitoring, trace-driven simulation and kernel-based analysis. Special consideration is given to operating systems that support multiple application programming interfaces (APIs), a software trend that substantially affects on-chip memory allocation decisions. Results: Small adjustments in cache and TLB design parameters can significantly impact overall performance. Operating systems that support multiple APIs, such as Mach 3.0, increase the relative importance of on-chip instruction caches and TLBs when compared against single-API systems such as Ultrix

Published in:

Computer Architecture, 1994., Proceedings the 21st Annual International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

18-21 Apr 1994