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Author Martin, Steve ♦ Mudge, Trevor ♦ Kim, Nam Sung ♦ Flautner, Krisztián ♦ Blaauw, David
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Abstract On-chip caches represent a sizable fraction of the total power consumption of microprocessors. Although large caches can significantly improve performance, they have the potential to increase power consumption. As feature sizes shrink, the dominant component of this power loss will be leakage. However, during a fixed period of time the activity in a cache is only centered on a small subset of the lines. This behavior can be exploited to cut the leakage power of large caches by putting the cold cache lines into a state preserving, low-power drowsy mode. Moving lines into and out of drowsy state incurs a slight performance loss. In this paper we investigate policies and circuit techniques for implementing drowsy caches. We show that with simple architectural techniques, about 80%-90% of the cache lines can be maintained in a drowsy state without affecting performance by more than 1%. According to our projections, in a 0.07um CMOS process, drowsy caches will be able to reduce the total energy (static and dynamic) consumed in the caches by 50%-75%. We also argue that the use of drowsy caches can simplify the design and control of low-leakage caches, and avoid the need to completely turn off selected cache lines and lose their state.
Description Affiliation: ARM Ltd, Cambridge, UK (Flautner, Krisztián) || The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (Kim, Nam Sung; Martin, Steve; Blaauw, David; Mudge, Trevor)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1981-04-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal ACM SIGARCH Computer Architecture News (CARN)
Volume Number 30
Issue Number 2
Page Count 10
Starting Page 148
Ending Page 157


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Source: ACM Digital Library