Improving Writeback Efficiency with Decoupled Last-Write Prediction
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In modern DDRx memory systems, memory write requests compete with read requests for available memory resources, significantly increasing the average read request service time. Caches are used to mitigate long memory read latency that limits system performance. Dirty blocks in the last-level cache (LLC) that will not be written again before they are evicted will eventually be written back to memory. We refer to these blocks as last-write blocks. In this paper, we propose an LLC writeback technique that improves DRAM efficiency by scheduling predicted last-write blocks early. We propose a low overhead last-write predictor for the LLC. The predicted last-write blocks are made available to the memory controller for scheduling. This technique effectively re-distributes the memory requests and expands writes scheduling opportunities, allowing writes to be serviced efficiently by DRAM. The technique is flexible enough to be applied to any LLC replacement policy. Our evaluation with multi-programmed workloads shows that the technique significantly improves performance by 6.5%-11.4% on average over the traditional writeback technique in an eight-core processor with various DRAM configurations running memory intensive benchmarks. © 2012 IEEE.
author list (cited authors)
Wang, Z., Khan, S. M., & Jimenez, D. A.