Saturday, May 28, 2011

Researchers boost multi-core CPU performance with better prefetching


CPUPiling on cores is one way to boost performance, but it's not necessarily the most efficient way -- researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new prefetching technique for processors that could boost performance by up to 40-percent. As you may know, any data not stored in a CPU's cache must be pulled from RAM, but as more cores are added they can create a bottleneck by competing for memory access. To counter this designers use prefetching to predict what information will be needed and grab it ahead of time, but guessing wrong can hurt performance. Researchers tackled this problem from two fronts: first, by creating a better algorithm for divvying up bandwidth, and second, by selectively turning off prefetching when it might slow the CPU. Full PR and an abstract of the study being published June 9th are after the break.
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