Improving the Performance of Hybrid Caches Using Partitioned Victim Caching

Sukarn Agarwal, Hemangee K. Kapoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Non-Volatile Memory technologies are coming as a viable option on account of the high density and low-leakage power over the conventional SRAM counterpart. However, the increased write latency reduces their chances as a substitute for SRAM. To attenuate this problem, a hybrid STT-RAM-SRAM architecture is proposed where with large STT-RAM ways, the small SRAM ways are incorporated for handling the write operations. However, the performance gain obtained from such an architecture is not as much as expected on account of the larger miss rate caused by smaller SRAM partition. This, in turn, may limit the amount of cache capacity.This article attempts to reduce the miss penalty and improve the average memory access time by retaining the victims evicted from the hybrid cache in a smaller, fully associative SRAM structure called the victim cache. The victim cache is accessed on a miss in the primary hybrid cache. Hits in the victim cache require an exchange of the block between the main hybrid cache and the victim cache. In such cases, to effectively place the required block in the appropriate region of the main hybrid cache, we propose an access-based block placement technique. Besides, to manage the runtime load and the uneven evictions of the SRAM partition, we also present a dynamic region-based victim cache partitioning method to hold the victims dedicated to each region. Experimental evaluation on a full system simulator shows significant improvement in the performance and execution time along with a reduction in the overall miss rate. The proposed policy also increases the endurance of Hybrid Cache Architectures (HCA) by reducing writes in the STT partition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • partitioning
  • STT-RAM
  • non-volatile
  • Hybrid cache
  • victim cache

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