Multilevel Cache Modeling for Chip-Multiprocessor Systems

Computer Architecture Letters, IEEE.


This paper presents a simple analytical model for predicting on-chip cache hierarchy effectiveness in chip multiprocessors (CMP) for a state-of-the-art architecture. Given the complexity of this type of systems, we use rough approximations, such as the empirical observation that the re-reference timing pattern follows a power law and the assumption of a simplistic delay model for the cache, in order to provide a useful model for the memory hierarchy responsiveness. This model enables the analytical determination of average access time, which makes design space pruning useful before sweeping the vast design space of this class of systems. The model is also useful for predicting cache hierarchy behavior in future systems. The fidelity of the model has been validated using a state-of-the-art, full-system simulation environment, on a system with up to sixteen out-of-order processors with cache-coherent caches and using a broad spectrum of applications, including complex multithread workloads. This simple model can predict a near-to-optimal, on-chip cache distribution while also estimating how future system running future applications might behave.