SCP: Synergistic cache compression and prefetching

Bhargavraj Patel, Nikos Hardavellas, Gokhan Memik

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

3 Scopus citations


While processor caches cannot grow arbitrarily large due to area, power, and latency considerations, dataset sizes grow faster than Moore's Law and pressure caches to grow to accommodate the increasing working sets. Cache compression partially mitigates this problem by providing an effective cache capacity larger than the physical capacity of the cache, but the prevalent rule of thumb dictates that the miss rate lowers by only the square root of the additional cache capacity. Data prefetching and streaming engines can offer a better utilization of the cache space, but sophisticated schemes typically require significant on-chip space, and some even save part of the history they track in main memory (e.g., Spatio-Temporal Memory Streaming-STEMS) and oversubscribe the already limited off-chip bandwidth. In this paper we present synergistic cache compression and prefetching (SCP), a technique that utilizes the cache space saved by cache compression to implement the storage arrays required by data prefetching and streaming engines. SCP outperforms cache-compression-only and data-streaming-only schemes, and approximates the performance of a combined scheme that employs both cache compression and data streaming in hardware, but without the overhead of the additional history and storage arrays for the streaming engine. Utilizing the cache compression hardware to compress the storage arrays for a STEMS streaming engine, in addition to the data cache, allows the streaming engine to operate entirely on-chip using space saved by compressing the cache, obviating the need to offload parts of the history to main memory and further increasing performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467371650
StatePublished - Dec 14 2015
Event33rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2015 - New York City, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2015Oct 21 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 33rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2015


Other33rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City


  • cache compression
  • prefetching
  • processor cache
  • spatio-Temporal data streaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications


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