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EvoCaches: Application-specific Adaptation of Cache Mappings

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3 Author(s)
Paul Kaufmann ; Univ. of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany ; Christian Plessl ; Marco Platzner

In this work we present EvoCache, a novel approach for implementing application-specific caches. The key innovation of EvoCache is to make the function that maps memory addresses from the CPU address space to cache indices programmable. We support arbitrary Boolean mapping functions that are implemented within a small reconfigurable logic fabric. For finding suitable cache mapping functions we rely on techniques from the evolvable hardware domain and utilize an evolutionary optimization procedure. We evaluate the use of EvoCache in an embedded processor for two specific applications (JPEG and BZIP2 compression) with respect to execution time, cache miss rate and energy consumption. We show that the evolvable hardware approach for optimizing the cache functions not only significantly improves the cache performance for the training data used during optimization, but that the evolved mapping functions generalize very well. Compared to a conventional cache architecture, EvoCache applied to test data achieves a reduction in execution time of up to 14.31% for JPEG (10.98% for BZIP2), and in energy consumption by 16.43% for JPEG (10.70% for BZIP2). We also discuss the integration of EvoCache into the operating system and show that the area and delay overheads introduced by EvoCache are acceptable.

Published in:

Adaptive Hardware and Systems, 2009. AHS 2009. NASA/ESA Conference on

Date of Conference:

July 29 2009-Aug. 1 2009