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Circular Stack Management for Scratchpad Memory

A nice Stack Management technique for a limited local memory architecture like IBM Cell, is presented at ASP-DAC and in IEEE Trans. CAD in 2009. The pointer problem was extremely difficult to handle correctly, but we managed to do it, at least from the correctness point of view.

A dynamic scratch pad memory (SPM) management scheme for program stack data with the objective of processor power  reduction is presented.  Basic  technique  does  not  need the SPM size at compile time, does not mandate any hardware changes, does not need profile information, and seamlessly integrates support for recursive functions. Stack frames are managed using a software SPM manager, integrated into the application binary, and shows average energy savings of 32% along with a performance improvement of 13%, on benchmarks from MiBench. SPM management  can  be further optimized and made pointer-safe, by knowing the SPM size.

Read the full paper: “A Software-Only Solution to Use Scratch Pads for Stack Data,” by Aviral Shrivastava, Arun Kannan, and Jongeun Lee*, published in IEEE Transactions on CAD, vol. 28, no. 11, pp. 1719-1727, November 2009.

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