Data compression plays a pivotal role in improving system performance and reducing energy consumption, because it increases the logical effective capacity of a compressed memory system without physically increasing the memory size. However, data compression techniques incur some cost, such as non-negligible compression and decompression overhead. This overhead becomes more severe if compression is used in the cache. In this article, we aim to minimize the read-hit decompression penalty in compressed Last-Level Caches (LLCs) by speculatively decompressing frequently used cachelines. To this end, we propose a Hot-cacheline Prediction and Early decompression (HoPE) mechanism that consists of three synergistic techniques: Hotcacheline Prediction (HP), Early Decompression (ED), and Hit-history-based Insertion (HBI). HP and HBI efficiently identify the hot compressed cachelines, while ED selectively decompresses hot cachelines, based on their size information. Unlike previous approaches, the HoPE framework considers the performance balance/tradeoff between the increased effective cache capacity and the decompression penalty. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed HoPE mechanism, we run extensive simulations on memory traces obtained from multi-threaded benchmarks running on a full-system simulation framework. We observe significant performance improvements over compressed cache schemes employing the conventional Least-Recently Used (LRU) replacement policy, the Dynamic Re-Reference Interval Prediction (DRRIP) scheme, and the Effective Capacity Maximizer (ECM) compressed cache management mechanism. Specifically, HoPE exhibits system performance improvements of approximately 11%, on average, over LRU, 8% over DRRIP, and 7% over ECM by reducing the read-hit decompression penalty by around 65%, over a wide range of applications.
|Journal||ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems|
|Publication status||Published - 2017 Apr|
- Cache management policy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering