Global management of cache hierarchies

Mohamed Zahran, Sally A. McKee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cache memories currently treat all blocks as if they were equally important. This assumption of equally important blocks is not always valid. For instance, not all blocks deserve to be in L1 cache. We therefore propose globalized block placement. We present a global placement algorithm for managing blocks in a cache hierarchy by deciding where in the hierarchy an incoming block should be placed. Our technique makes decisions by adapting to access patterns of different blocks. The contributions of this paper are fourfold. First, we motivate our solution by demonstrating the importance of a globalized placement scheme. Second, we present a method to categorize cache block behavior into one of four categories. Third, we present one potential design exploiting this categorization. Finally, we demonstrate the performance of our design. The proposed scheme enhances overall system performance (IPC) by an average of 12% over a traditional LRU scheme while reducing traffic between L1 cache and L2 cache by an average of 20%, using SPEC CPU benchmark suite. All of this is achieved with a table as small as 3 KB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCF 2010 - Proceedings of the 2010 Computing Frontiers Conference
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2010
Event7th ACM International Conference on Computing Frontiers, CF'10 - Bertinoro, Italy
Duration: May 17 2010May 19 2010

Publication series

NameCF 2010 - Proceedings of the 2010 Computing Frontiers Conference


Conference7th ACM International Conference on Computing Frontiers, CF'10


  • cache memory
  • memory hierarchy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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