Performance Characteristics of an Intelligent Memory System

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2004-07-07

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The memory system is increasingly becoming a performance bottleneck. Several intelligent memory systems, such as the ActivePages, DIVA, and IRAM architectures, have been proposed to alleviate the processor-memory bottleneck. This thesis presents the Memory Arithmetic Unit and Interface (MAUI) architecture. The MAUI architecture combines ideas of the ActivePages, DIVA, and ULMT architectures into a new intelligent memory system. A simulator of the MAUI architecture was added to the SimpleScalar v4.0 toolset. Simulation results indicate that the MAUI architecture provides the largest application speedup when operating on datasets that are much too large to fit in the processor's cache and when integrated with systems using a high performance DRAM system and a low performance processor. By coupling a 2000 MHz processor with an 800 MHz DRDRAM DRAM system, the Stream benchmark, originally written by John D. McCalpin, completed 121% faster in simulations when optimized to use the MAUI architecture.

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