Cache Energy Optimization Techniques For Modern Processors

TitleCache Energy Optimization Techniques For Modern Processors
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMittal, Sparsh
PublisherScholars' Press
ISBN Number978-3-639-51736-1
Keywordscache energy saving, computer architecture, Dynamic Cache Reconfiguration, dynamic profiling, Energy efficiency, green computing, leakage energy saving, Low-power architecture, multicore systems, QoS systems, Real-time systems

Modern multicore processors are employing large last-level caches, for example Intel's E7-8800 processor uses 24MB L3 cache. Further, with each CMOS technology generation, leakage energy has been dramatically increasing and hence, leakage energy is expected to become a major source of energy dissipation, especially in last-level caches (LLCs). The conventional schemes of cache energy saving either aim at saving dynamic energy or are based on properties specific to first-level caches, and thus these schemes have limited utility for last-level caches. Further, several other techniques require offline profiling or per-application tuning and hence are not suitable for product systems. In this book, we present novel cache leakage energy saving schemes for single-core and multicore systems; desktop, QoS, real-time and server systems. Also, we present cache energy saving techniques for caches designed with both conventional SRAM devices and emerging non-volatile devices such as STT-RAM (spin-torque transfer RAM). We present software-controlled, hardware-assisted techniques which use dynamic cache reconfiguration to configure the cache to the most energy efficient configuration while keeping the performance loss bounded. To profile and test a large number of potential configurations, we utilize low-overhead, micro-architecture components, which can be easily integrated into modern processor chips. We adopt a system-wide approach to save energy to ensure that cache reconfiguration does not increase energy consumption of other components of the processor. We have compared our techniques with state-of-the-art techniques and have found that our techniques outperform them in terms of energy efficiency and other relevant metrics. The techniques presented in this book have important applications in improving energy-efficiency of higher-end embedded, desktop, QoS, real-time, server processors and multitasking systems.

This book is intended to be a valuable guide for both newcomers and veterans in the field of cache power management. It will help graduate students, CAD tool developers and designers in understanding the need of energy efficiency in modern computing systems. Further, it will be useful for researchers in gaining insights into algorithms and techniques for micro-architectural and system-level energy optimization using dynamic cache reconfiguration. We sincerely believe that the ``food for thought'' presented in this book will inspire the readers to develop even better ideas for designing ``green'' processors of tomorrow.