Global Variable Promotion: Using Registers to Reduce Cache Power Dissipation

Abstract

Global variable promotion, i.e. allocating unaliased globals to registers, can significantly reduce the number of memory operations. This results in reduced cache activity and less power consumption. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate global variable promotion in the context of ILP scheduling and estimate its potential as a software technique for reducing cache power consumption. We measured the frequency and distribution of accesses to global variables and found that few registers are sufficient to replace the most frequently referenced variables and capture most of the benefits. In our tests, up to 22% of memory operations are removed. Four registers, for example, are sufficient to reduce the energy-delay product by 7 to 26%. Our results suggest that global variable promotion should be included as a standard optimization technique in power-conscious compilers.

DOI: 10.1007/3-540-45937-5_18

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cilio2002GlobalVP, title={Global Variable Promotion: Using Registers to Reduce Cache Power Dissipation}, author={Andrea G. M. Cilio and Henk Corporaal}, booktitle={CC}, year={2002} }