Reducing cache hierarchy energy consumption by predicting forwarding and disabling associative sets



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Carazo, Pablo and Apollini, Ruben and Castro Rodríguez, Fernando and Chaver Martínez, Daniel Ángel and Piñuel Moreno, Luis and Tirado Fernández, Francisco (2012) Reducing cache hierarchy energy consumption by predicting forwarding and disabling associative sets. Journal of Circuits Systems and Computers, 21 (7). ISSN 0218-1266

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The first level data cache in modern processors has become a major consumer of energy due to its increasing size and high frequency access rate. In order to reduce this high energy consumption, we propose in this paper a straightforward filtering technique based on a highly accurate forwarding predictor. Specifically, a simple structure predicts whether a load instruction will obtain its corresponding data via forwarding from the load-store structure - thus avoiding the data cache access - or if it will be provided by the data cache. This mechanism manages to reduce the data cache energy consumption by an average of 21.5% with a negligible performance penalty of less than 0.1%. Furthermore, in this paper we focus on the cache static energy consumption too by disabling a portion of sets of the L2 associative cache. Overall, when merging both proposals, the combined L1 and L2 total energy consumption is reduced by an average of 29.2% with a performance penalty of just 0.25%.

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This work has been supported in part by the Spanish government through the research contract CICYT-TIN 2008/508, TIN2012-32180, Consolider Ingenio-2010 CSD2007-0050 and the HIPEAC-3 European Network of Excellence

Uncontrolled Keywords:Energy consumption; Filtering; Forwarding predictor; Cache hierarchy
Subjects:Sciences > Computer science
ID Code:28484
Deposited On:02 Mar 2015 13:02
Last Modified:18 Mar 2015 09:32

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