Energy-Efficient Hardware Data Prefetching

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Executive Summary

Extensive research has been done in prefetching techniques that hide memory latency in microprocessors leading to performance improvements. However, the energy aspect of prefetching is relatively unknown. While aggressive prefetching techniques often help to improve performance, they increase energy consumption by as much as 30% in the memory system. This paper provides a detailed evaluation on the energy impact of hardware data prefetching and then presents a set of new energy-aware techniques to overcome prefetching energy overhead of such schemes.

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