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Vector Runahead


Abstract: "The memory wall places a significant limit on performance for many modern workloads. These applications feature complex chains of dependent, indirect memory accesses, which cannot be picked up by even the most advanced microarchitectural prefetchers. The result is that current out-of-order superscalar processors spend the majority of their time stalled. While it is possible to bui... » read more

Leaky Buddies: Cross-Component Covert Channels on Integrated CPU-GPU Systems


Find Technical Paper link here. Abstract: "Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are ubiquitous components used across the range of today’s computing platforms, from phones and tablets, through personal computers, to high-end server class platforms. With the increasing importance of graphics and video workloads, recent processors are shipped with GPU devices that are integrated on the same chi... » read more

An Increasingly Complicated Relationship With Memory


The relationship between a processor and its memory used to be quite simple, but in modern SoCs there are multiple heterogeneous processors and accelerators, each needing a different means of accessing memory for maximum efficiency. Compromises are being made in order to preserve the unified programming model of the past, but the pressures are increasing for some fundamental changes. It does... » read more

Using Memory Differently


Chip architects are beginning to rewrite the rules on how to choose, configure and use different types of memory, particularly for chips with AI and some advanced SoCs. Chipmakers now have a number of options and tradeoffs to consider when choosing memories, based on factors such as the application and the characteristics of the memory workload, because different memory types work better tha... » read more

Distributed Intelligence Gets Real


I write for a living, which means a lot of typing. But it can also mean a lot of talking, thanks to technology. For six years now, I’ve happily used voice-to-text apps on my smart phone. These cloud-based services have made me immensely more productive, whether it’s dictating an email or a story idea. I once dictated an entire blog post into my phone while I was driving (don’t tell an... » read more

Implementation Limits Power Optimization


Implementation is still the step that makes or breaks power budgets in chip design, despite improvements in power estimation, power simulations, and an increase in the number of power-related architectural decisions. The reason: All of those decisions must be carried throughout the design flow. “If implementation decides to give up, then it doesn't really matter at the end of the day,” s... » read more

Do Circuits Whisper Or Shout?


Maximizing SoC performance and minimizing power is becoming a multi-layered and multi-company challenge that depends on everything from ecosystem feedback and interactions to micro-architectural decisions about whether analog circuits whisper or shout. What used to be a straightforward architectural tradeoff between performance and power has evolved into a much more diffuse and collaborativ... » read more