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Bandwidth-Aware Dynamic Prefetch Configuration for IBM POWER8

Research Area: Processor Architecture Year: 2020
Type of Publication: Article
Authors:
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems PP
Number: 99
Abstract:
Advanced hardware prefetch engines are being integrated in current high-performance processors. Prefetching can boost the performance of most applications, however, the induced bandwidth consumption can lead the system to a high contention for main memory bandwidth, which is a scarce resource in current multicores. In such a case, the system performance can be severely damaged. This work characterizes the applications’ behavior in an IBM POWER8 machine, which presents many prefetch settings,varying the bandwidth contention degree. The study reveals that the best prefetch setting for each application depends on the main memory bandwidth availability, that is, it depends on the co-running applications. Based on this study, we propose Bandwidth-AwarePrefetch Configuration (BAPC) a scalable adaptive prefetching algorithm that improves the performance of multi-program workloads. BAPC increases the performance of the applications in a 8%, 11%, and 12% for workload mixes composed of 6, 8, and 10 applications over the IBM POWER8 default configuration. In addition to performance, BAPC reduces bandwidth consumption in 39%, 42%, and 45%, respectively.
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