DESC: Energy-Efficient Data Exchange using Synchronized Counters
Increasing cache sizes in modern microprocessors require long wires to connect cache arrays to processor cores. As a result, the Last-Level Cache (LLC) has become a major contributor to processor energy; necessitating techniques to increase the energy efficiency of data exchange over LLC interconnects. This paper presents an energy-efficient data exchange mechanism using synchronized counters. The key idea is to represent information by the delay between two consecutive pulses on a set of wires, which makes the number of state transitions on the interconnect independent of the data patterns, and significantly lowers the activity factor. Simulation results show that the proposed technique reduces overall processor energy by 7%, and the L2 cache energy by 1.81x on a set of sixteen parallel applications.