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Managing Multicore Memory

MIT News (09/13/13) Larry Hardesty 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed Jigsaw, a system that monitors the computations being performed by a multicore chip and manages cache memory accordingly. In experiments simulating the execution of hundreds of applications of 16- and 64-core chips, Jigsaw was able to accelerate execution by an average of 18 percent while reducing energy consumption by as much as 72 percent. Jigsaw monitors which cores are accessing which data most frequently and calculates the most efficient assignment of data to cache banks. Jigsaw also varies the amount of cache space allocated to each type of data, depending on how it is accessed, with the data that is reused frequently receiving more space than data that is accessed less often. In addition, by ignoring some scenarios that are extremely unlikely to arise in practice, the researchers developed an approximate optimization algorithm that runs efficiently even as the number of cores and the different types of data dramatically increases. MIT professor Daniel Sanchez notes that since the optimization is based on Jigsaw’s observations of the chip’s activity, “it’s the optimal thing to do, assuming that the programs will behave in the next 20 milliseconds the way they did in the last 20 milliseconds.”

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