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Data prefetching has been a successful technique in high-performance computing platforms. However, the conventional wisdom is that they significantly increase energy consumption, and thus not suitable for embedded mobile systems. On the other hand, as modern mobile applications pose an increasing demand for high performance, it becomes essential to implement high-performance techniques, such as prefetching, in these systems. In this paper, we study the impact of prefetching on the performance and energy consumption of embedded mobile systems. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, our findings demonstrate that as technology advances, prefetching can be energy-efficient while improving performance. Furthermore, we have developed a simple but effective analytical model to help system designers to identify the conditions for energy efficiency.
Date of Publication: Jan.-June 2011