University of Florence
Low power has been considered as an important issue in Instruction cache (I-cache) designs. Several studies have shown that the I-cache can be tuned to reduce power. These techniques, however, exclusively focus on user-level applications, even though there is evidence that many commercial and emerging workloads often involve heavy use of the Operating System (OS). This study goes beyond previous work to explore the opportunities to design energy-efficient I-cache for system workloads. Employing a full-system experimental framework and a wide range of workloads, the authors characterize user and OS I-cache accesses and motivate OS aware I-cache tuning to save power.