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Mascar: Speeding up GPU Warps by Reducing Memory Pitstops

Ankit Sethia, D. Anoushe Jamshidi, Scott Mahlke
Advanced Computer Architecture Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
21st IEEE Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), 2015

@article{sethia2015mascar,

   title={Mascar: Speeding up GPU Warps by Reducing Memory Pitstops},

   author={Sethia, Ankit and Jamshidi, D Anoushe and Mahlke, Scott},

   year={2015}

}

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With the prevalence of GPUs as throughput engines for data parallel workloads, the landscape of GPU computing is changing significantly. Non-graphics workloads with high memory intensity and irregular access patterns are frequently targeted for acceleration on GPUs. While GPUs provide large numbers of compute resources, the resources needed for memory intensive workloads are more scarce. Therefore, managing access to these limited memory resources is a challenge for GPUs. We propose a novel Memory Aware Scheduling and Cache Access Re-execution (Mascar) system on GPUs tailored for better performance for memory intensive workloads. This scheme detects memory saturation and prioritizes memory requests among warps to enable better overlapping of compute and memory accesses. Furthermore, it enables limited re-execution of memory instructions to eliminate structural hazards in the memory subsystem and take advantage of cache locality in cases where requests cannot be sent to the memory due to memory saturation. Our results show that Mascar provides a 34% speedup over the baseline roundrobin scheduler and 10% speedup over the state of the art warp schedulers for memory intensive workloads. Mascar also achieves an average of 12% savings in energy for such workloads.
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