Exact, fast and flexible L1 cache configuration simulation for embedded systems

Masashi Tawada*, Masao Yanagisawa, Tatsuo Ohtsuki, Nozomu Togawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since target applications running on an embedded processor are much limited in embedded systems, we can optimize its cache configuration based on the number of sets, block size, and associativities. An extremely fast cache configuration simulation method, CRCB (Configuration Reduction approach by the Cache Behavior), has been recently proposed which can calculate cache hit/miss counts accurately for possible cache configurations when the three parameters above are changed. The CRCB method assumes LRU-based (Least Recently Used-based) cache but many recent processors use FIFO-based (First In First Out-based) cache or PLRU-based (Pseudo LRU-based) cache due to its hardware cost. In this paper, we propose exact and fast L1 cache configuration simulation algorithms for embedded applications that use PLRU or FIFO as a cache replacement policy. Firstly, we prove that the CRCB method can be applied not only to LRU but also to other cache replacement policies including FIFO and PLRU. Secondly, we prove several properties for FIFO- and PLRU-based caches and we propose associated cache simulation algorithms which can simulate simultaneously more than one cache configurations with different cache associativities accurately for FIFO or PLRU. Finally, many experimental results demonstrate that our cache configuration simulation algorithms obtain accurate cache hit/miss counts and run up to 249 times faster than a conventional cache simulator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-181
Number of pages16
JournalIPSJ Transactions on System LSI Design Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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