Performance Evaluation of Multicore Cache Locking using Multimedia Applications
Supporting real-time multimedia applications on multicore systems is a great challenge due to cache’s dynamic behavior. Studies show that cache locking may improve execution time predictability and power/performance ratio. However, entire locking at level-1 cache (CL1) may not be efficient if smaller amount of instructions/data compared to the cache size is locked. An alternative choice may be way (i.e., partial) locking. For some processors, way locking is possible only at level-2 cache (CL2). Even though both CL1 cache locking and CL2 cache locking improve predictability, it is difficult to justify the performance and power trade-off between these two cache locking mechanisms. In this work, we assess the impact of CL1 and CL2 cache locking on the performance, power consumption, and predictability of a multicore system using ISO standard H.264/AVC, MPEG4, and MPEG3 multimedia applications and FFT and DFT codes. Simulation results show that both the performance and predictability can be increased and the total power consumption can be decreased by using a cache locking mechanism added to a cache memory hierarchy. Results also show that for the applications used, CL1 cache locking outperforms CL2 cache locking.
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