Skewed Compressed Cache

Somayeh Sardashti 1 André Seznec 2 David A. Wood 1
2 ALF - Amdahl's Law is Forever
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D3 - ARCHITECTURE
Abstract : Cache compression seeks the benefits of a larger cache with the area and power of a smaller cache. Ideally, a compressed cache increases effective capacity by tightly compacting compressed blocks, has low tag and metadata overheads, and allows fast lookups. Previous compressed cache designs, however, fail to achieve all these goals. In this paper, we propose the Skewed Compressed Cache (SCC), a new hardware compressed cache that lowers overheads and increases performance. SCC tracks super-blocks to reduce tag overhead, compacts blocks into a variable number of sub-blocks to reduce internal fragmentation, but retains a direct tag-data mapping to find blocks quickly and eliminate extra metadata (i.e., no backward pointers). SCC does this using novel sparse super-block tags and a skewed associative mapping that takes compressed size into account. In our experiments, SCC provides on average 8% (up to 22%) higher performance, and on average 6% (up to 20%) lower total energy, achieving the benefits of the recent Decoupled Compressed Cache [26] with a factor of 4 lower area overhead and lower design complexity.
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Somayeh Sardashti, André Seznec, David A. Wood. Skewed Compressed Cache. MICRO - 47th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, Dec 2014, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-01088050⟩

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