MLP-aware dynamic instruction window resizing for adaptively exploiting both ILP and MLP

Abstract

It is difficult to improve the single-thread performance of a processor in memory-intensive programs because processors have hit the memory wall, i.e., the large speed discrepancy between the processors and the main memory. Exploiting memory-level parallelism (MLP) is an effective way to overcome this problem. One scheme for exploiting MLP is aggressive out-of-order execution. To achieve this, large instruction window resources (i.e., the reorder buffer, the issue queue, and the load/store queue) are required; however, simply enlarging these resources degrades the clock cycle time. While pipelining these resources can solve this problem, this leads to instruction issue delays, which prevents instruction-level parallelism (ILP) from being exploited effectively. As a result, the performance of compute-intensive programs is degraded dramatically. This paper proposes an adaptive dynamic instruction window resizing scheme that enlarges and pipelines the window resources only when MLP is exploitable, and shrinks and de-pipelines the resources when ILP is exploitable. Our scheme changes the size of the window resources by predicting whether MLP is exploitable based on the occurrence of last-level cache misses. Our scheme is very simple and hardware change is accommodated within the existing processor organization, it is thus very practical. Evaluation results using the SPEC2006 benchmark programs show that, for all programs, our dynamic instruction window resizing scheme achieves performance levels similar to the best performance achieved with fixed-size resources. On average, our scheme produces a performance improvement of 21% in comparison with that of a conventional processor, with an additional cost of only 6% of the conventional processor core or 3% of the entire processor chip, thus achieving a significantly better cost/performance ratio that is far beyond the level that can be achieved based on Pollack's law. The evaluation results also show an 8% better energy efficiency in terms of 1/EDP (energy-delay product).

DOI: 10.1145/2540708.2540713
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@inproceedings{Kora2013MLPawareDI, title={MLP-aware dynamic instruction window resizing for adaptively exploiting both ILP and MLP}, author={Yuya Kora and Kyohei Yamaguchi and Hideki Ando}, booktitle={MICRO}, year={2013} }