Storage

Prefetch-Aware Memory Controllers

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Executive Summary

Existing DRAM controllers employ rigid, non-adaptive scheduling and buffer management policies when servicing prefetch requests. Some controllers treat prefetches the same as demand requests, and others always prioritize demands over prefetches. However, none of these rigid policies result in the best performance because they do not take into account the usefulness of prefetches. If prefetches are useless, treating prefetches and demands equally can lead to significant performance loss and extra bandwidth consumption. In contrast, if prefetches are useful, prioritizing demands over prefetches can hurt performance by reducing DRAM throughput and delaying the service of useful requests.

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