B-Fetch: Branch Prediction Directed Prefetching for Chip-Multiprocessors Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2014 IEEE. For decades, the primary tools in alleviating the "Memory Wall" have been large cache hierarchies and dataprefetchers. Both approaches, become more challenging in modern, Chip-multiprocessor (CMP) design. Increasing the last-level cache (LLC) size yields diminishing returns in terms of performance per Watt, given VLSI power scaling trends, this approach becomes hard to justify. These trends also impact hardware budgets for prefetchers. Moreover, in the context of CMPs running multiple concurrent processes, prefetching accuracy is critical to prevent cache pollution effects. These concerns point to the need for a light-weight prefetcher with high accuracy. Existing data prefetchers may generally be classified as low-overhead and low accuracy (Next-n, Stride, etc.) or high-overhead and high accuracy (STeMS, ISB). Wepropose B-Fetch: a data prefetcher driven by branch prediction and effective address value speculation. B-Fetch leverages control flow prediction to generate an expected future path of the executing application. It then speculatively computes the effective address of the load instructions along that path based upon a history of past register transformations. Detailed simulation using a cycle accurate simulator shows a geometric mean speedup of 23.4% for single-threaded workloads, improving to 28.6% for multi-application workloads over a baseline system without prefetching. We find that B-Fetch outperforms an existing "best-of-class" light-weight prefetcher under single-threaded and multi programmed workloads by 9% on average, with 65% less storage overhead.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kadjo, D., Kim, J., Sharma, P., Panda:j, R., Gratz, P., & Jimenez, D.

citation count

  • 23

publication date

  • December 2014