Turbocharging Cost-Conscious SoCs With Cache

Some design teams creating system-on-chip (SoC) devices are fortunate to work with the latest and greatest technology nodes coupled with a largely unconstrained budget for acquiring intellectual property (IP) blocks from trusted third-party vendors. However, many engineers are not so privileged. For every “spare no expense” project, there are a thousand “do the best you can with a limited... » read more

MPAM-Style Cache Partitioning With ATP-Engine And gem5

The Memory Partitioning and Monitoring (MPAM) Arm architecture supplement allows for memory resources (MPAM MSCs) to be partitioned using PARTID identifiers. This allows privileged software, like OSes and hypervisors to partition caches, memory controllers and interconnects on the hardware level. This allows for bandwidth and latency controls to be defined and enforced for memory requestors. ... » read more

Performance Boost In Powerful Real-Time Cortex-R Processor Using Data Prefetch Control

High-performance processors employ hardware data prefetching to reduce the negative performance impact of large main memory latencies. An effective prefetching mechanism can improve cache hit rate significantly. Data prefetching boosts the execution performance by fetching data before it is needed. While prefetching improves performance substantially on many programs, it can significantly red... » read more

Interconnects: Exploring Semi-Metals (Penn State, IBM, Rice University)

A technical paper titled "Exploring Topological Semi-Metals for Interconnects" was published by researchers at Penn State, IBM, and Rice University, with funding by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). Abstract "The size of transistors has drastically reduced over the years. Interconnects have likewise also been scaled down. Today, conventional copper (Cu)-based interconnects face a ... » read more

Side-Channel Attacks Via Cache On the RISC-V Processor Configuration

A technical paper titled "A cross-process Spectre attack via cache on RISC-V processor with trusted execution environment" was published by researchers at University of Electro-Communication, Academy of Cryptography Techniques, Technology Research Association of Secure IoT Edge Application based on RISC-V Open Architecture (TRASIO), and AIST. "This work proposed a cross-process exploitation ... » read more

Every Walk’s A Hit: Making Page Walks Single-Access Cache Hits

As memory capacity has outstripped TLB coverage, large data applications suffer from frequent page table walks. We investigate two complementary techniques for addressing this cost: reducing the number of accesses required and reducing the latency of each access. The first approach is accomplished by opportunistically "flattening" the page table: merging two levels of traditional 4 KB p... » read more

An Energy-Efficient DRAM Cache Architecture for Mobile Platforms With PCM-Based Main Memory

Abstract "A long battery life is a first-class design objective for mobile devices, and main memory accounts for a major portion of total energy consumption. Moreover, the energy consumption from memory is expected to increase further with ever-growing demands for bandwidth and capacity. A hybrid memory system with both DRAM and PCM can be an attractive solution to provide additional capacity ... » read more

SMASH: Synchronized Many-sided Rowhammer Attacks from JavaScript

Authors: Finn de Ridder, ETH Zurich and VU Amsterdam; Pietro Frigo, Emanuele Vannacci, Herbert Bos, and Cristiano Giuffrida, VU Amsterdam; Kaveh Razavi, ETH Zurich Abstract: "Despite their in-DRAM Target Row Refresh (TRR) mitigations, some of the most recent DDR4 modules are still vulnerable to many-sided Rowhammer bit flips. While these bit flips are exploitable from native code, tri... » read more

TimeCache: Using Time to Eliminate Cache Side Channels when Sharing Software

"Abstract—Timing side channels have been used to extract cryptographic keys and sensitive documents even from trusted enclaves. Specifically, cache side channels created by reuse of shared code or data in the memory hierarchy have been exploited by several known attacks, e.g., evict+reload for recovering an RSA key and Spectre variants for leaking speculatively loaded data. In this paper, we ... » read more

Taming Non-Predictable Systems

How predictable are semiconductor systems? The industry aims to create predictable systems and yet when a carrot is dangled, offering the possibility of faster, cheaper, or some other gain, decision makers invariably decide that some degree of uncertainty is warranted. Understanding uncertainty is at least the first step to making informed decisions, but new tooling is required to assess the im... » read more

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