Seminar 2017-04-20

Making Memory Systems Efficient

Date: 2017-04-20

Time: 11:00-12:00

Speaker: Dr. David Black-Schaffer, Uppsala University


Today’s memory systems use a large portion of the total processor energy due to inefficient data movement. The root cause of this is that we are using the same bandwidth-optimized designs we’ve had for the past 20-years: brute-force searches and global installations. If we dare to re-think memory systems from an efficiency-first perspective, we can dramatically improve efficiency (60% lower energy, 65% lower traffic, 30% lower latency) by applying smarter placement policies and providing efficient data access mechanisms. The key to all of this is perversely simple: flattening the memory hierarchy. 

In this talk we will cover the Green Cache memory system technologies which combine the highly efficient “direct-to-data” memory access mechanisms with intelligent policies. This approach learns how to place and replicate data across the memory hierarchy (private, shared, and DRAM caches) to improve performance and reduce latency, while retaining compatibility with existing core and/or memory system designs.


Dr. David Black-Schaffer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Technology at Uppsala University. His research focuses on approaches for moving data more efficiently in advanced heterogeneous computer systems, using both software and hardware techniques. His results have been published in the top international conferences in computer architecture (MICRO and ISCA) and led to multiple patents. Prior to joining the faculty of Uppsala University, he was a member of the OpenCL team at Apple, Inc., in California, and contributed to the first OpenCL standard for heterogeneous computation. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University for work on power-efficient embedded processing systems. In addition to research, Dr. Black-Schaffer is an award-winning teacher whose educational tool ScalableLearning is used by tens of thousands of students. 

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