A Survey of Recent Prefetching Techniques for Processor Caches

Sparsh Mittal
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ACM Computing Surveys, 2016


   title={A Survey of Recent Prefetching Techniques for Processor Caches},


   author={Sparsh Mittal},

   journal={ACM Computing Surveys},


   keywords={Review, Classification, Data prefetching, Instruction prefetching, Hardware prefetching, Software prefetching, Speculative pre-execution, Helper thread prefetching, Cache pollution}


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As the trends of process scaling make memory system even more crucial bottleneck, the importance of latency hiding techniques such as prefetching grows further. However, naively using prefetching can harm performance and energy efficiency and hence, several factors and parameters need to be taken into account to fully realize its potential. In this paper, we survey several recent techniques that aim to improve implementation and effectiveness of prefetching. We characterize the techniques on several parameters to highlight their similarities and differences. The aim of this survey is to provide insights to researchers into working of prefetching techniques and spark interesting future work for improving the performance advantages of prefetching even further.
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