A Survey of Recent Prefetching Techniques for Processor Caches

TitleA Survey of Recent Prefetching Techniques for Processor Caches
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMittal, Sparsh
JournalACM Computing Surveys
KeywordsCache pollution, classification, Data prefetching, Hardware prefetching, Helper thread prefetching, Instruction prefetching, Review, Software prefetching, Speculative pre-execution

As the trends of process scaling make memory system even more crucial bottleneck, the importance of latency hiding techniques such as prefetching grows further. However, naively using prefetching can harm performance and energy efficiency and hence, several factors and parameters need to be taken into account to fully realize its potential. In this paper, we survey several recent techniques that aim to improve implementation and effectiveness of prefetching. We characterize the techniques on several parameters to highlight their similarities and differences. The aim of this survey is to provide insights to researchers into working of prefetching techniques and spark interesting future work for improving the performance advantages of prefetching even further.