Architecting on-chip interconnects for stacked 3D STT-RAM caches in CMPs

Asit K. Mishra, Xiangyu Dong, Guangyu Sun, Yuan Xie, N. Vijaykrishnan, Chita R. Das

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

78 Scopus citations


Emerging memory technologies such as STT-RAM, PCRAM, and resistive RAM are being explored as potential replacements to existing on-chip caches or main memories for future multi-core architectures. This is due to the many attractive features these memory technologies posses: high density, low leakage, and non-volatility. However, the latency and energy overhead associated with the write operations of these emerging memories has become a major obstacle in their adoption. Previous works have proposed various circuit and architectural level solutions to mitigate the write overhead. In this paper, we study the integration of STT-RAM in a 3D multi-core environment and propose solutions at the on-chip network level to circumvent the write overhead problem in the cache architecture with STT-RAM technology. Our scheme is based on the observation that instead of staggering requests to a write-busy STT-RAM bank, the network should schedule requests to other idle cache banks for effectively hiding the latency. Thus, we prioritize cache accesses to the idle banks by delaying accesses to the STTRAM cache banks that are currently serving long latency write requests. Through a detailed characterization of the cache access patterns of 42 applications, we propose an efficient mechanism to facilitate such delayed writes to cache banks by (a) accurately estimating the busy time of each cache bank through logical partitioning of the cache layer and (b) prioritizing packets in a router requesting accesses to idle banks. Evaluations on a 3D architecture, consisting of 64 cores and 64 STT-RAM cache banks, show that our proposed approach provides 14% average IPC improvement for multi-threaded benchmarks, 19% instruction throughput benefits for multi-programmed workloads, and 6% latency reduction compared to a recently proposed write buffering mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 38th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA'11
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2011
Event38th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA'11 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2011Jun 8 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Computer Architecture
ISSN (Print)1063-6897


Other38th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA'11
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture


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