Optimizing instruction TLB energy using software and hardware techniques

I. Kadayif, A. Sivasubramaniam, M. Kandemir, G. Kandiraju, G. Chen, G. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Power consumption and power density for the Translation Look-aside Buffer (TLB) are important considerations not only in its design, but can have a consequence on cache design as well. After pointing out the importance of instruction TLB (iTLB) power optimization, this article embarks on a new philosophy for reducing the number of accesses to this structure. The overall idea is to keep a translation currently being used in a register and avoid going to the iTLB as far as possible - until there is a page change. We propose four different approaches for achieving this, and experimentally demonstrate that one of these schemes that uses a combination of compiler and hardware enhancements can reduce iTLB dynamic power by over 85% in most cases. The proposed approaches can work with different instruction-cache (iL1) lookup mechanisms and achieve significant iTLB power savings without compromising on performance. Their importance grows with higher iL1 miss rates and larger page sizes. They can work very well with large iTLB structures that can possibly consume more power and take longer to lookup, without the iTLB getting into the common case. Further, we also experimentally demonstrate that they can provide performance savings for virtually indexed, virtually tagged iL1 caches, and can even make physically indexed, physically tagged iL1 caches a possible choice for implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-257
Number of pages29
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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