High-Performance DRAMs in Workstation Environments
"High performance DRAMs in workstation environments." Vinodh Cuppu, Bruce Jacob, Brian Davis, and Trevor Mudge. IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 50, no. 11, pp. 1133-1153. November 2001. (TC Special Issue on High-Performance Memory Systems)
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This paper presents a simulation-based performance study of several of the new high-performance DRAM architectures, each evaluated in a small system organization. These small-system organizations correspond to workstation-class computers and use only a handful of DRAM chips (~10, as opposed to ~1 or ~100). The study covers Fast Page Mode, Extended Data Out, Synchronous, Enhanced Synchronous, Double Data Rate, Synchronous Link, Rambus, and Direct Rambus designs. Our simulations reveal several things: (a) current advanced DRAM technologies are attacking the memory bandwidth problem but not the latency problem; (b) bus transmission speed will soon become a primary factor limiting memory-system performance; (c) the post-L2 address stream still contains significant locality, though it varies from application to application; (d) systems without L2 caches are feasible for low- and medium-speed CPUs (1GHz and below); and (e) as we move to wider buses, row access time becomes more prominent, making it important to investigate techniques to exploit the available locality to decrease access time.