Towards refresh-optimized EDRAM-based caches with a selective fine-grain round-robin refresh scheme

Joonho Kong, Young Ho Gong, Sung Woo Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, EDRAM cells have gained much attention as a promising alternative to construct on-chip memories. However, due to inherent characteristics of DRAM cells, they need to be refreshed periodically, causing a huge refresh energy burden. Particularly, employing EDRAM cells in large-scale last-level caches will make refresh burden much higher due to their large capacity. In this paper, we propose a selective fine-grain round-robin refresh scheme for both performance improvement and refresh energy reduction. To reduce bank conflicts between normal cache accesses and refresh operations, we employ a refresh scheme which refreshes cache lines in a bank-wise round-robin fashion. We also apply a selective refresh depending on the inclusive information in cache hierarchies. For the data which reside in both LLC and upper-level cache (i.e., L2 cache), the data access will be filtered by the upper-level cache. Based on this insight, we skip the refresh to the cache block in the EDRAM-based LLC which also exists in the upper-level caches. By doing so, we can reduce unnecessary refresh operations in EDRAM-based LLCs. According to our evaluation, our proposed scheme improves performance by 7.3% and reduces energy per instruction by 13.3% compared to the baseline all-bank refresh scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalMicroprocessors and Microsystems
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1C1A1A01051836). This research was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (2015R1A2A1A15055435 and 2014R1A2A1A11054390).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Embedded dynamic random access Memory
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Last-level cache
  • Performance
  • Refresh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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