A case for two-way skewed-associative caches

André Seznec
1993 SIGARCH Computer Architecture News  
We introduce a new organization for multi-bank cach es: the skewed-associative cache. A two-way skewed-associative cache has the same hardware complexity as a two-way set-associative cache, yet simulations show that it typically exhibits the same hit ratio as a four-way set associative cache with the same size. Then skewed-associative caches must be preferred to set-associative caches. Until the three last years external caches were used and their size could be relatively large. Previous
more » ... have showed that, for cache sizes larger than 64 Kbyt es, direct-mapped caches exhibit hit ratios nearly as good as set-associative caches at a lower hardware cost. Moreover, the cache hit time on a direct-mapped cache may be quite smaller than the cache hit time on a set-associative cache, because optimistic use of data jlowing out from the cache is quite natural. But now, microprocessors are designed with small on-chip caches. Performance of low-end microprocessor systems highly depends on cache behavior. Simulations show that using some associativity in on-chip caches allows to boost the performance of these lowend systems. When considering optimistic use of data (or instruction) jlowing out from the cache, the cache hit time of a two-way skewed-associative (or setassociative) cache is very close to the cache hit time of a direct-mapped cache. Therefore two-way skewed associative caches represent the best tradeoff for today microprocessors with on-chip caches whose sizes are in the range of 4-8K bytes.
doi:10.1145/173682.165152 fatcat:ye7k2cui2rbsrmwrahhv2yheb4