Cool-Cache for Hot Multimedia

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Publication Medium:

International Symposium on Microarchitecture


pp. 274-283

Year of Publication:



We claim that the unique characteristics of multimedia applications dictate media-sensitive architectural and compiler approaches to reduce the power consumption of the data cache. Our motivation is exploring energy savings for real-time multimedia workloads without sacrificing performance. Here, we present two complementary mediasensitive energy-saving techniques that leverage static information. While our first technique is applicable to existing architectures, in our second technique we adopt a more radical approach and propose a new caching architecture by re-evaluating the architecture-compiler interface. Our experiments show that substantial energy savings are possible in the data cache. Across a wide range of cache and architectural configurations we obtain up to 77% energy savings, while the performance varies from 14% improvement to 4% degradation depending on the application.

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