Publication
MICRO 2018
Conference paper

Attaché: Towards ideal memory compression by mitigating metadata bandwidth overheads

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Abstract

Memory systems are becoming bandwidth constrained and data compression is seen as a simple technique to increase their effective bandwidth. However, data compressionrequires accessing Metadata which incurs additional bandwidth overheads. Even after using a Metadata-Cache, the bandwidth overheads of Metadata can reduce the benefits of compression. This paper proposes Attaché, a framework that reduces the overheads of Metadata accesses. The Attaché framework consists of two components. The first component, called the Blended Metadata Engine (BLEM), enables data and its Metadata to be accessed together. BLEM incurs additional Metadata accesses only 0.003% times and removes almost all Metadata bandwidth overheads. The second component, called theCompression Pre-dictor(COPR), predicts if the memory block is compressed. TheCOPR predictor uses a fine-grained line-level predictor, a coarse-grained page-level predictor, and a global indicator. This enables Attaché to predict the compressibility of the memory block before sending a memory read request. We implement Attaché on a memory system that uses Sub-Ranking. On average, Attaché achieves 15.3% speedup (ideal 17%) and saves 22% energy consumption (ideal 23%) when compared to a baseline system that does not employ data compression. Attaché is completely hardware-based and uses only 368KB of SRAM.

Date

12 Dec 2018

Publication

MICRO 2018

Authors

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