MAC: Memory access coalescer for 3D-stacked memory


Emerging data-intensive applications, such as graph analytics and data mining, exhibit irregular memory access patterns. Research has shown that with these memory-bound applications, traditional cache-based processor architectures, which exploit locality and regular patterns to mitigate the memory-wall issue, are inefficient. Meantime, novel 3D-stacked memory devices, such as Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), promise significant increases in bandwidth that appear extremely appealing for memory-bound applications. However, conventional memory interfaces designed for cache-based architectures and JEDEC DDR devices fit poorly with the 3D-stacked memory, which leads to significant under-utilization of the promised high bandwidth. As a response to these issues, in this paper we propose MAC (Memory Access Coalescer), a coalescing unit for the 3D-stacked memory. We discuss the design and implementation of MAC, in the context of a custom designed cache-less architecture targeted at data-intensive, irregular applications. Through a custom simulation infrastructure based on the RISC-V toolchain, we show that MAC achieves a coalescing efficiency of 52.85% on average. It improves the performance of the memory system by 60.73% on average for a large set of irregular workloads.

In Proceedings of the 48th International Conference on Parallel Processing
Jie Li
Jie Li
Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science

My research interests include High-Performance Computing, Advanced Computer Architecture, and Parallel and Distributed Computing.