Performance of One's Complement Caches

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On-chip caches to reduce average memory access latency are commonplace in today's commercial microprocessors. These on-chip caches generally have low associativity and small cache sizes. Cache line conflicts are the main source of cache misses, which are critical for overall system performance. This paper introduces an innovative design for on-chip data caches of microprocessors, called one's complement cache. While binary complement numbers have been successfully used in designing arithmetic units, to the best of our knowledge, no one has ever considered using such complement numbers in cache memory designs. This paper will show that such complement numbers help greatly in reducing cache misses in a data cache, thereby improving data cache performance. By parallel computation of cache addresses and memory addresses, the new design does not increase the critical hit time of cache accesses. Cache misses caused by line interference are reduced by evenly distributing data items referenced by program loops across all sets in a cache. Even distribution of data in the cache is achieved by making the number of sets in the cache a prime or an odd number, so that the chance of related data being mapped to a same set is small. Trace-driven simulations are used to evaluate the performance of the new design. Performance results on benchmarks show that the new design improves cache performance significantly with negligible additional hardware cost. © 1998 Academic Press.

Publication Title

Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing