Technical Report 2004-024

Low Power and Conflict Tolerant Cache Design

Mathias Spjuth, Martin Karlsson, and Erik Hagersten

May 2004

The common approach to reduce cache conflicts is to increase the associativity. From a dynamic cache power perspective this associativity comes at a high cost. In this paper we present miss ratio performance and dynamic power estimates for a skewed cache and also for a new organization proposed, the elbow cache. The elbow cache extends the skewed cache organization with a relocation strategy for conflicting blocks. We show that these skewed designs significantly reduces the conflict problems while consuming up to 56% less dynamic power than a comparably performing 8-way set-associative cache.

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