Exploring Alternate Cache Indexing Techniques
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Cache memory is a bridging component which covers the increasing gap between the speed of a processor and main memory. An excellent performance of the cache is crucial to improve system performance. Conflict misses are one of the critical reasons that limit the cache performance by mapping blocks to the same set which results in the eviction of many blocks. However, many blocks in the cache sets are not mapped, and thus the available space is not efficiently utilized. A direct way to reduce conflict misses is to increase associativity, but this comes with the cost of an increase in the hit time. Another way to reduce conflict misses is to change the cache-indexing scheme and distribute the accesses across all sets. This thesis focuses on the second way mentioned above and aims to evaluate the impact of the matrix-based indexing scheme on cache performance against the traditional modulus-based indexing scheme. A correlation between the proposed indexing scheme and different cache replacement policies is also observed. The matrix-based indexing scheme yields a geometric mean speedup of 1.2% for SPEC CPU 2017 benchmarks for single core simulations when applied for direct-mapped last level cache. In this case, an improvement of 1.5% and 4% is observed for at least eighteen and seven of SPEC CPU2017 applications respectively. Also, it yields 2% of performance improvement over sixteen SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks. The new indexing scheme correlates well with multiperspective reuse prediction. It is observed that LRU benefits machine learning benchmark by a performance of 5.1%. For multicore simulations, the new indexing scheme does not improve performance significantly. However, this scheme also does not impact the application’s performance negatively.
Jindal, Sangam (2018). Exploring Alternate Cache Indexing Techniques. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from