A two-level cache design space exploration system for embedded applications

Nobuaki Tojo, Nozomu Togawa, Masao Yanagisawa, Tatsuo Ohtsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, two-level cache, L1 cache and L2 cache, is commonly used in a processor. Particularly in an embedded system whereby a single application or a class of applications is repeatedly executed on a processor, its cache configuration can be customized such that an optimal one is achieved. An optimal two-level cache configuration can be obtained which minimizes overall memory access time or memory energy consumption by varying the three cache parameters: the number of sets, a line size, and an associativity, for L1 cache and L2 cache. In this paper, we first extend the L1 cache simulation algorithm so that we can explore two-level cache configuration. Second, we propose two-level cache design space exploration algorithms: CRCB-T1 and CRCB-T2, each of which is based on applying Cache Inclusion Property to two-level cache configuration. Each of the proposed algorithms realizes exact cache simulation but decreases the number of cache hit/miss judgments by a factor of several thousands. Experimental results show that, by using our approach, the number of cache hit/miss judgments required to optimize a cache configurations is reduced to 1/50-1/5500 compared to the exhaustive approach. As a result, our proposed approach totally runs an average of 1398.25 times faster compared to the exhaustive approach. Our proposed cache simulation approach achieves the world fastest two-level cache design space exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3238-3247
Number of pages10
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec


  • Cache optimization
  • Cache simulation
  • Design space exploration
  • Embedded system
  • L1/L2
  • Two-level cache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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