Flex memory: Exploiting and managing abundant off-chip optical bandwidth

Ying Wang, Lei Zhang, Yinhe Han, Huawei Li, Xiaowei Li
2011 2011 Design, Automation & Test in Europe  
The emerging nanophotonic technology can avoid the limitation of I/O pin count, and provide abundant memory bandwidth. However, current DRAM organization has mainly been optimized for a higher storage capacity and package pin utilization. The resulted data fetching mechanism is quite inefficient in performance and energy saving, and cannot effectively utilize the abundant optical bandwidth in off-chip communication. This paper inspects the opportunity brought by optical communication, and
more » ... ts the DRAM memory architecture considering the technology trend towards multiprocessors. In our FlexMemory design, super-line prefetching is proposed to boost system performance and promote energy efficiency, which leverages the abundant photonic bandwidth to enlarge the effective data fetch size per memory cycle. To further preserve locality and maintain service parallelism for different workloads, page folding technique is employed to achieve adaptive data mapping in photonics-connected DRAM chips via optical wavelengths allocation. By combining both techniques, surplus off-chip bandwidth can be utilized and effectively managed adapting to the workloads intensity. Experimental results show that our FlexMemory achieves considerable improvements in performance and energy efficiency.
doi:10.1109/date.2011.5763157 dblp:conf/date/WangZHLL11 fatcat:v2d3w7fjxrfhndfnmukxsdiag4