Enhancing the memory performance of embedded systems with the flexible sequential and random access memory

Ying Chen, Karthik Ranganathan, Vasudev V. Pai, David J. Lilja, Kia Bazargan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The on-chip memory performance of embedded systems directly affects the system designers' decision about how to allocate expensive silicon area. We investigate a novel memory architecture, flexible sequential and random access memory (FSRAM), for embedded systems. To realize sequential accesses, small "links" are added to each row in the RAM array to point to the next row to be prefetched. The potential cache pollution is ameliorated by a small sequential access buffer (SAB). To evaluate the architecture-level performance of FSRAM, we run the Mediabench benchmark programs [1] on a modified version of the Simplescalar simulator [2]. Our results show that the FSRAM improves the performance of a baseline processor with a 16KB data cache up to 55%, with an average of 9%. We also designed RTL and SPICE models of the FSRAM [3], which show that the FSRAM significantly improves memory access time, while reducing power consumption, with negligible area overhead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3189
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

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