Increasing Memory Miss Tolerance for SIMD Cores

Manycore processors with wide SIMD cores are becoming a popular choice for the next generation of throughput oriented architectures. We introduce a hardware technique called “diverge on miss” that allows SIMD cores to better tolerate memory latency for workloads with non-contiguous memory access patterns. Individual threads within a SIMD “warp” are allowed to slip behind other threads in the same warp, letting the warp continue execution even if a subset of threads are waiting on memory. Diverge on miss can either increase the performance of a given design by up to a factor of 3.14 for a single warp per core, or reduce the number of warps per core needed to sustain a given level of performance from 16 to 2 warps, reducing the area per core by 35%.

David Tarjan (University of Virginia)
Jiayuan Meng (University of Virginia)
Kevin Skadron (University of Virginia)
Publication Date: 
Sunday, November 1, 2009
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