Exploring the design space of cache memories, bus width, and burst transfer memory systems

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Abstract

Caches, data path, and burst transfer memory are the major hardware techniques used to reduce the latency between the processor and the main memory. We explore the design space among the hit ratio (hence a cache size, or an improved cache structure), data path width, and the transfer memory design through a performance tradeoff methodology. For the tradeoffs among these three factors, our evaluation shows that if a D-byte data path system and a 2D-byte data path system have the same performance, then the hit ratio difference that trades the performance of a D-byte wide data path is between 0 (low bound) and 1-HR (high bound) where HR is the hit ratio associated with the D-byte system. For current main memory systems, doubling the data path trades about half of the high bound of the hit ratio traded in a transfer-time dominated system. Doubling the data bus is more advantageous when the processor is designed with the use of a high-speed non-constant-time-dominated L2 cache. Doubling the bus width trades a large percentage of the hit ratio when a large amount of non-cacheable 2D-byte memory traffic exists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, Transactions of the Chinese Institute of Engineers,Series A/Chung-kuo Kung Ch'eng Hsuch K'an
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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