Revisiting memory management on virtualized environments Academic Article uri icon


  • Emerging Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) technologies are explored as potential alternatives to traditional SRAM/DRAM-based memory architecture in future microprocessor design. One of the major disadvantages for NVM is the latency and energy overhead associated with write operations. Mitigation techniques to minimize the write overhead for NVM-based main memory architecture have been studied extensively. However, most prior work focuses on optimization techniques for NVM-based main memory itself, with little attention paid to cache management policies for the Last-Level Cache (LLC). In this article, we propose a Writeback-Aware Dynamic CachE (WADE) management technique to help mitigate the write overhead in NVM-based memory.1 The proposal is based on the observation that, when dirty cache blocks are evicted from the LLC and written into NVM-based memory (with PCM as an example), the long latency and high energy associated with write operations to NVM-based memory can cause system performance/power degradation. Thus, reducing the number of writeback requests from the LLC is critical. The proposed WADE cache management technique tries to keep highly reused dirty cache blocks in the LLC. The technique predicts blocks that are frequently written back in the LLC. The LLC sets are dynamically partitioned into a frequent writeback list and a nonfrequent writeback list. It keeps a best size of each list in the LLC. Our evaluation shows that the technique can reduce the number of writeback requests by 16.5% for memory-intensive single-threaded benchmarks and 10.8% for multicore workloads. It yields a geometric mean speedup of 5.1% for single-thread applications and 7.6% for multicore workloads. Due to the reduced number of writeback requests to main memory, the technique reduces the energy consumption by 8.1% for single-thread applications and 7.6% for multicore workloads. © 2014, ACM. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, X., Weng, L., Wang, Z., & Luo, Y.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • December 2013