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Evaluation of a "Stall" Cache: An Efficient Restricted On-chip Instruction Cache

Authors:
Schauser, Klaus Erik
Asanovic, Krste
Patterson, David A.
Frank, Edward H.
Technical Report Identifier: CSD-91-641
July 30, 1991
CSD-91-641.pdf
CSD-91-641.ps

Abstract: In this report we compare the cost and performance of a new kind of restricted instruction cache architecture -- the stall cache -- against several other conventional cache architectures. The stall cache minimizes the size of an on-chip instruction cache by caching only those instructions whose instruction fetch phase collides with the memory access phase of a preceding load or store instruction.

Many existing machines provide a single cycle external cache memory. Our results show that, under this assumption, the stall cache always outperforms an equivalent sized on-chip instruction cache, reducing external memory access stalls by approximately 10%. In addition we present results for a system using an on-chip data cache, and for one with a double width data bus and short instruction prefetch buffer.