Low-voltage on-chip cache architecture using heterogeneous cell sizes for high-performance processors

Hamid Reza Ghasemi, Stark C. Draper, Nam Sung Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

To date dynamic voltage/frequency scaling (DVFS) has been one of the most successful power-reduction techniques. However, ever-increasing process variability reduces the reliability of static random access memory (SRAM) at low voltages. This limits voltage scaling to a minimum operating voltage (V DDMIN). Larger SRAM cells, that are less sensitive to process variability, allow the use of lower VDDMIN. However, large-scale memory structures, e.g., the last-level cache (LLC) (that often determines the VDDMIN of the processor), cannot afford to use such large SRAM cells due to the die area constraint. In this paper we propose low-voltage LLC architectures that exploit 1) the DVFS characteristics of workloads running on high-performance processors, 2) the trade-off between SRAM cell size and V DDMIN, and 3) the fact that at lower voltage/frequency operating states the negative performance impact of having a smaller LLC capacity is reduced. Our proposed LLC architectures provide the same maximum performance and VDDMIN as the conventional architecture, while reducing the total LLC cell area by 15%-19% with negligible average runtime increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 17th International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2011
Pages38-49
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2011 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2011Feb 16 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture
ISSN (Print)1530-0897

Other

Other17th International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, HPCA 2011
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period2/12/112/16/11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture

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