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An Instruction to Accelerate Software Caches

Azevedo, Arnaldo; Juurlink, Ben

In this paper we propose an instruction to accelerate software caches. While DMAs are very efficient for predictable data sets that can be fetched before they are needed, they introduce a large latency overhead for computations with unpredictable access behavior. Software caches are advantageous when the data set is not predictable but exhibits locality. However, software caches also incur a large overhead. Because the main overhead is in the access function, we propose an instruction that replaces the look-up function of the software cache. This instruction is evaluated using the Multidimensional Software Cache and two multimedia kernels, GLCM and H.264 Motion Compensation. The results show that the proposed instruction accelerates the software cache access time by a factor of 2.6. This improvement translates to a 2.1 speedup for GLCM and 1.28 for MC, when compared with the IBM software cache.
Published in: Architecture of Computing Systems - ARCS 2011, 10.1007/978-3-642-19137-4_14, Springer