Title

Informed prefetching for indirect memory accesses

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

3-4-2020

Abstract

Indirect memory accesses have irregular access patterns that limit the performance of conventional software and hardware-based prefetchers. To address this problem, we propose the Array Tracking Prefetcher (ATP), which tracks array-based indirect memory accesses using a novel combination of software and hardware. ATP is first configured by special metadata instructions, which are inserted by programmer or compiler to pass data structure traversal knowledge. It then calculates and issues prefetches based on this information. ATP also employs a novel mechanism for dynamically adjusting prefetching distance to reduce early or late prefetches. ATP yields average speedup of 2.17 as compared to a single-core without prefetching. By contrast, the speedup for conventional software and hardware-based prefetching is 1.84 and 1.32, respectively. For four cores, the average speedup for ATP is 1.85, while the corresponding speedups for software and hardwarebased prefetching are 1.60 and 1.25, respectively.

Publication Title

ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization

Volume

17

Issue

1

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