The key difficulties in designing memory hierarchies for future computing systems with extreme scale parallelism include (1) overcoming the design complexity of system-wide memory coherence, (2) achieving low power, and (3) achieving fast access times within such a memory hierarchy. Towards addressing these difficulties, in this paper we propose an automatic memory partitioning method to generate a customized, application-specific, energy-efficient, low latency memory hierarchy, tailored to particular application programs. Given a software program to accelerate, our method automatically partitions the memory of the original program, creates a new customized application-specific multi-level memory hierarchy for the program, and modifies the original program to use the new memory hierarchy. This new memory hierarchy and modified program are then used as the basis to create a customized, application-specific, highly parallel hardware accelerator, which is functionally equivalent to the original, unmodified program. Using dependence analysis and fine grain valid/dirty bits, the memories in the generated hierarchy can operate in parallel without the need for maintaining coherence and can be independently initialized/flushed from/to their parent memories in the hierarchy, enabling a scalable memory design. The generated memories are fully compatible with the memory addressing in the original software program; this compatibility feature enables the translation of general software applications to application-specific accelerators. We also provide a compiler analysis method to perform accurate dependence analysis for memory partitioning based on symbolic execution, and a profiler-based futuristic limit study to identify the maximum gains that can be achieved by memory partitioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Information Systems